Jane Eyre-along

Time to get over our Bronte issues.

28 August 2006


How's everyone doing? Did you finish it? Did you stall? What did you think?

21 August 2006

Kinda Stuck

So I'm stuck somewhere around Chapter 15. Please, someone - tell me it picks up. Please? I want it to get all spooky!

16 August 2006

Rochester's Treatment of Jane

I've always had this romantic idea of Rochester in my head, like Mr. Darcy, a larger than life romantic hero who's simply misunderstood. I've always felt sorry for him. But this time around, it's different. I'm not at all happy with the way he treats Jane when he first meets her in the lane, and then when he's questioning her skills as a governess. I also noticed what Jessie pointed out, of his explanation of Adele's mother, their relationship, and his absolute conviction that he wasn't Adele's father. I think I've glossed over his creepiness because I want to like him, so I forgive a lot. But maybe I should be questioning more and not letting him get away with this nonsense. I discussed this with my roommate, who cites this as her favorite book, and she told me that Rochester is just trying to bring Jane out of her shell. I can kind of see this, but I don't think it accounts for all the questioning, doubting, and general asshat-ery.

One of my favorite songs in the musical (see links below) is As Good as You, which Rochester sings to Jane when telling her of Adele's mother. He's telling Jane that women are not to be trusted and he knows this from experience, and that she is too naive to understand how love really works. The song doesn't paint him in the greatest light, but I've got a thing for impressive baritones :)

As Good as You
(you can here a clip at amazon)

Love is like a virus we're infected with
You're so naive
Wouldn't it be wonderful
If life was just as you perceive?
Women are inhuman, worthless
Hard and savage
On the average
Never to be trusted
Completely maladjusted, it's true
And if I'd not loved a few
I might have been as good as you
She was my flame, my gallic sylph
I was her fool's delight
She put me in her spell and turned my
Rage to trust in just one night
With appetites for pleasure
We would search for buried treasure
In the excess of temptation
I thought it my salvation, it's true
And if I had thought things through
I might have been as good as you
She found me handsome
My opera dancer
And like a fool I believed it was true
I held the world inside my hands, a man
Full in his prime
When she left me for another
Pierced my heart a second time
"Nothing lasts forever," she said
"Find the door yourself, dear, won't you?
Think me still your flower
I've treasured every hour, it's true
And if I had loved you, too
I might have been as good as you."
I came upon her some time later
The years had not been very kind
She has this child, Adele
Said she was mine, as well
"Nothing lasts forever, Edward
Take good care and, oh yes
Won't you take our lovely daughter?
For you see, dear, I don't want her
But I'm still your flower
I'll just bloom elsewhere
Tell her my soul is in heaven, with God"
Miss Eyre, I tell you this
Because I want you to know
That I, with some luck
Without shame, without blame
Or the curse of my name
Might have been as good as you

Jane Eyre, the Musical was on Broadway from November 2000 to June 2001
Internet Broadway Database entry
The Official Musical site
James Barbour, who played Rochester, and more photos of the show
The libretto

There's another Jane Eyre Musical that I'm not familiar with, more information here.

12 August 2006

Chapter 8-15 thoughts

I'm found Mr. Rochester very creepy here, especially his frank discussion of his mistress and his refusal to consider the possibility that he might be Adele's father.
I don't know any French, so I feel like I might be missing a few things. I hope nothing terribly important.
I'm finding it more enjoyable still, and have read ahead because of the suspense!
Also, Mrs. Fairfax seems nice.

Introduction and notes

Hi everyone! I’m Maura and I’m new. I just finished reading the book last month and I am currently making my way through the film adaptations. I was so excited to find some people who want to discuss Jane Eyre. The people around me are a little tired of hearing it and aren’t much interested. Go figure. :)

I don’t have much to say about the early chapters that hasn’t been mentioned. I will say that I got a new appreciation for Helen reading it this time. At first I saw her as just a kind of mouthpiece for Christian ideals – a way for Bronte to get those ideas into the story. But reading it this time I liked her more and saw how important she is to Jane. Though I can certainly relate more to Jane’s spunk and spirit: “an impulse of fury against Reed, Brocklehurst, and Co. bounded in my pulses at the conviction. I was no Helen Burns.”

One part I did think was funny: when Brocklehurst first meets Jane and he is telling her about the boy who prefers Psalms to treats. “…when you ask him which he would rather have, a gingerbread-nut to eat or a verse of a Psalm to learn, he says: 'Oh! the verse of a Psalm!…he then gets two nuts in recompense for his infant piety." I thought, what a smart kid. He knows if he says he wants to learn a Psalm, he’ll get two treats instead of one!

10 August 2006

Running late - intro

Hi guys, I'm Kate, and I'm an English major who's never read any Bronte. (Well, I was an English major a long time ago; now I'm a librarian and a law student.) It was all-Austen, all the time for me. :)

I've just finished re-reading all the Harry Potter books, so Jane Eyre is a bit of a mental switch. I'm reading my brother's copy (a Norton Critical Edition) that his wife also used in college, so it's interesting to get the marginal notes from both of them. (Apparently there's a lot of Rousseau going on...)

I'm on Chapter 5 right now; I'm hoping to be caught up with the Plan by next Friday. I'm sure I'll have something to say before then, tho.

07 August 2006

Random Thoughts on Ch. 1-7

1. Overall, I'm really, really liking it. Yay. I think it will be much easier this time than when I was twelve. Shocking.

2. The language! It's gorgeous, but these are supposed to be kids! With the narrative, I figured fine, Jane is telling it as an adult remembering back. But the dialogue is the same. I started laughing during the part when Jane and Helen Burns are discussing complicated ethics questions in huge words - especially since these girls aren't supposed to have a whole lot of education.

3. It's been great reading something set in the winter. I know they're freezing and all, but I'm sort of jealous as I sit here in my 90-degree apartment.

4. The religion aspect - I think Bronte is making fun of certain types of people, rather than religion in general. Religion is somewhat of a given in this world - both the good and the bad characters quote the Bible and feel that religion is guiding their actions. So far, at least, the dichotomy seems to be between sincere people and hypocrites.

06 August 2006

A quick question

I feel like I learned about this in college but I'm blanking and a quick internet search isn't helping, so I turn to you all.
Can anyone recall the reason for using dashes to stand in for place names or street names? Is there a reason? It's a convention I notice more in classic literature.
It always jars me to be reading along and then see something about a house in ----berg or something like that.

04 August 2006

Ch 1-7 Complete!

Hypocrisy! Wow, how did I never see Bronte’s commentary on the Evangelical movement as uncaring of the welfare, the true needs of day to day life, of those they were intent on “saving” while enjoying their own luxuries? Mr. Brocklehurst’s unreasonableness is so well highlighted by the quite and caring form of the school superintendent Miss Temple who truly cares for the well being of the ENTIRE person.

I find it interesting that shortly before the arrival of Mr. Brocklehurst there is much mention of bullying by the older bigger girls of those who are weaker in order to steal: 1) food and 2) warmth. Then along comes Mr. Brocklehurst sprouting his high ideals for these poor orphaned children: “you are aware that my plan bringing up these girls is, not to accustom them to habits of luxury and indulgence, but to render them hardy, patient, self-denying (65).” Bronte makes soooo clear that he is teaching many of the students anything but these “Christian” qualities on which he places such value through his methodology of deprivation for the body. He is in fact so caught up in his beliefs he does not, cannot, see the reality of the situation.

In contrast are the quite forms of Helen Burns and Miss Temple who seem to truly embody the Christian ideals through their actions. Likewise, although clearly struggling to find her way, Jane displays the Christian qualities of kindness and generosity in the face of her own hardship. I am fascinated! The first two seem to actively choose to behave in this manner while Jane’s behavior comes from an inherent “goodness” which very few seem willing to recognize. Why? She is a plain girl rather than a beauty. Clear commentary, again, that many of this time period were far more concerned with outer than inner beauty!

03 August 2006

Hello . . .

I read Jane Eyre my freshman year of college right before I saw the movie. So it's been almost 10 years, which means it's due for a reread (especially since I remember liking it).

I'm also hoping this read-along will push me to read (or reread) some classics that I've been meaning to read (e.g., Jane Austen, Thomas Hardy, etc.).

Seeing how I just moved and will be starting my new librarian job next week, I'm not sure how involved I'll be with posting/commenting but I'll be around. :-)

02 August 2006

M's intro

I will go by M. I sort of like the web habit of referring to people by a letter, and well I'm more comfortable sharing just that much of my name (sigh, the day a co-worker informed me that he googled my name and was wondering if I was aware of what was out there).

I finally picked up a copy of Jane Eyre from my public library (plus I started using a netLibrary version, but I am really all about curling up with a book so that wasn't a good solution). I'm on chapter 4 now and am slowly getting into it.

I've been told I should read Jane Eyre a couple times, but after a bad incident with Wuthering Heights I've been avoiding it. So this read-along seemed like a good idea, plus I'd never done a read-along before. I didn't know it was compared to Rebecca (or did I), wow I remember loving Rebecca.


I'll start my introduction with a question for everyone: what are aficionados/addicts/fanatics of Jane Eyre called? Janeites is usually reserved for Jane Austen, I believe...any ideas? While we ponder that, I'll tell you that I'm Courtney: wife, mother of a month-old son, and school librarian. I first read and fell in love with Jane Eyre in high school when I found a very old copy, with a neat cover (I'll try to find a picture) and very musty smell at a used bookstore in Cooperstown, NY. I know own three copies of it, including a Norton Critical Edition (Hi Kat with a K!) that I'm actually never read, so I should this time. I'm trying to track down an unabridged version on CD as my hands are often full, but my library system doesn't own one! As a result, I'm may not always be totally on top of the reading, but I'll do my best. Well, that's enough writing for now, time to get reading! It's a pleasure to get to "meet" all of you and I look forward to chatting.

01 August 2006


I go by Gigi online and joined this read along because Jane Eyre is one of my all time favorite books. The first time I read it was pure happenchance! My older sister had it on her book shelf - I was out of books to read. Her copy had an odd cover (see picture) so I picked it up, began, and was hooked! I was perhaps all of ten at the time. Each time I reread this book I experience it differently. It has been at least seven years since the last read through. It's definitely time for another! :-D

My Intro

Hi everyone! I'm Kat with a K. (We have another Kat, so I'll try to remember to put Kat with a K on everything.) I more or less started this, I guess. I'm an MLS student but wannabe literature Ph.D. student (soon... soon...). I have never managed to finish Jane Eyre. I think I tried reading it a few times when I was really too young for it. So I'm hoping this time goes better!

I am eager to read it at the moment because I just read du Maurier's Rebecca, and the two books are compared in a lot of the criticism. I also loved Fforde's Eyre Affair, so really, it's time to just read the darn thing.