170 Years of Jane Eyre

Here at b**p we love a good novel and we love to celebrate them too.

Today marks 170 years since the publication of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, or, as she was known at the time, Currer Bell.

In those glorious 170 years, there have been film adaptations of the novel, period dramas telling its story and plays touring the country showcasing the love story between Jane Eyre and Edward Fairfax Rochester.

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However, one of our favourite things about Jane Eyre is its revolutionary depiction of women. Jane is a young woman finding her way in the world when she falls in love with Rochester (who falls deeply in love with her too, by the way). Despite him being rich, intense and absolutely her equal in terms of intellect and opinions, she won’t be with him because her values are more important.

And then there’s the message about imperfections. Both Jane and Rochester are not conventionally attractive and both admit that about each other. Yet that’s what makes them perfect for each other and as a couple. It genuinely fills your heart with joy.

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I’m glad that Jane Eyre has been an example to women the world over, including myself. She is strong, not easily overwhelmed and despite these qualities that some may believe make her hardened, she is able to still be a woman. Too often in modern literature and film do we see female characters who are portrayed so strongly that they are never allowed to be vulnerable.

Charlotte Brontë never made that mistake. But that’s why she’s being remembered 170 years on and Suzanne Collins won’t be.

Happy 170 years, Jane and Charlotte.