Jane Eyre

Curator Reviews

Christiane Amanpour

As a school girl this book had an enormous impact on me. It’s not just one of the great works of English fiction, but many describe how it morphs its meaning to suit all seasons of the reader’s life. I read it as a schoolgirl, and the story of the evolving emotions and thoughts of a young girl who reaches womanhood and falls in love with an older man evokes a great romantic love. But on the other hand, the story of his wife, hidden away — descending into madness — caused me frissons of deep fear at the mental illness which was very much the unspoken unknown then, and in my own childhood. At the end of the day it’s an important work for all boys and girls to read, because of its highly developed, complicated and wonderful female heroine.

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Sarah Waters

So many important life-lessons to be learned here: How to triumph, despite being a working class girl; how to hold on to your sense of self; how, if you fancy a handsome rich man - way above your social strata who’s already married, if you wait a while, his castle might burn down, killing his wife and making him blind, and then you can have him, having played the long game.

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Suzanne Vega

Before there was “Wuthering Heights,” there was “Jane Eyre.” I will never forget reading the first chapter and the shock of recognition — the narrator is a young girl living with a family she is tangentially related to, and she longs for freedom. In time, she becomes independent (after a series of hardships which she endures stoically) all the while earning her living and finding love in the end. I love her for her plain, sturdy, sensible character. I identify with her.

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Rose McGowan

“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being, with an independent will; which I now exert to leave you.” This is an important book that as a young girl showed me that we can be indomitable, regardless of whether we are seen or not.

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