This is my sixth post for The Classics Club (just a month late). I’ll be reading one classic book a month for the next 4-5 years. Track what I’m reading for the Classics Club here. I’ll try not to include too many spoilers in my review but I may need to discuss some in order to fully review the book. I’ll warn you if I’m going to mention one.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Mark shares my love for Victorian literature.
- Year Published: 1847
- Reread? Or new to me?: reread (I think because I’ve owned this book since I was fourteen) but I didn’t remember much. Proof:
the front blank page in my copy
- Number of Pages: 552
- Date Finished: Somewhere in the middle of June, I forgot to write it down.
- Number of Days it took me to read it: 6 (???)
- Page/Day ratio: 92:1 (I read this fairly quickly but the font size is also large in my editions so don’t be too impressed).
- Would I have wanted to read this in English class?: I’m not sure I would have pushed through it had I been forced to read it in English class. Then again, I was “that girl” in high school/college who basically read everything assigned to me. So I probably would have read it through but maybe not loved it.
I enjoyed reading Jane Eyre. The story line was interesting and kept my interest at the end. I’m glad I read it but I did not love it. I don’t have any burning desire to read it again. I didn’t find Mr. Rochester a particularly compelling, fascinating or likeable man. I had a hard time understanding Jane, particularly her fascination/love with Mr. Rochester, a man who seemed to mistreat her. In short, I felt like I was missing something. I’ve heard so many people profess their love Jane Eyre, swoon over Mr. Rochester, and obsessively reread it. What did I miss? Did I need to fall in love with this (and particularly Mr. Rochester) when I was younger, more impressionable, or less cynical?
I did enjoy reading my particular copy of Jane Eyre because it’s an illustrated junior edition. I enjoyed looking at the illustrations and liked not feeling guilty for not reading all the critical essays that are so often at the beginnings of classics.
How about you? Have you read Jane Eyre? Did you fall in love with it as a teen? Should I reread this and maybe fall in love with it on the second reading?
Had I posted this at the end of June like I should have, I would have invited you to read Austen’s Emma with me. But, I already read it (and will blog about it soon). Perhaps you’d like to join me in reading Middlemarch by George Eliot in August? (You may have figured out by now that I’ve decided to read only classics written by women in 2014.)