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Jane Eyre (Hardcover Classics) Hardcover – October 27, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"At the end we are steeped through and through with the genius, the vehemence, the indignation of Charlotte Brontë."
--Virginia Woolf

Book Description

Cambridge Literature is a series of literary texts edited for study by students aged 14-18 in English-speaking classrooms. It will include novels, poetry, short stories, essays, travel-writing and other non-fiction. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Hardcover Classics
  • Hardcover: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Reprint edition (October 27, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141040386
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141040387
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 2 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4,103 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,482 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
This review is aimed more toward the Norton edition than to JANE EYRE. We all know this is a classic. Bronte was simply a genius and a harbinger of romantic, dramatic, gothic, and horror writing. (However, it still irks me that she couldn't end a simple sentence with a period. Every declarative statement, it seems, must be qualified with a colon or semi-colon. Oh well. Sign of the times.)

As for the Norton edition, it's the only one to buy. Bronte makes the assumption that you have read the Bible cover-to-cover a zillion times, and for those of us who have not read it through once, Norton's annotations are more than helpful---they're essential to understanding the novel's Christian allusions. This edition also provides the reader with critical essays, contexts of Bronte's life, Bronte's reactions to critics of her day, etc.

Bottom line: you can get the Dover Thrift edition for a couple bucks, but, if you are interested in giving this classic more than a cursory read, this edition is worth the extra money.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
You know all those 'classic' novels you read in high school? How many of them do you actually remember? Well, if Jane Eyre was one of those long-forgotten books, pick up a copy. To read it as an adult is a joy: it's a sweeping, disturbing, intense, thrilling, very romantic gothic love story, written in the voice of a very intense, almost claustrophobically self-aware young heroine. Jane is no Ophelia - she's a complicated, remarkable character, and a very strong female character in a genre that usually draws women as beautiful victims at best.

There's something for everyone in this book: Windswept castles, difficult and neurotic family members, dark secrets about tragic former lovers, good triumphing over evil, all that good juicy stuff that makes a great romantic story. What elevates Jane Eyre is Bronte's remarkable style & skill and her sharp and complex characterizations.

Trust me on this: If you don't remember it from your teens, you should give it a try now. Here is one novel that more than lives up to it's 'classic' status.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Published in 1847, WUTHERING HEIGHTS was not well received by the reading public, many of whom condemned it as sordid, vulgar, and unnatural--and author Emily Bronte went to her grave in 1848 believing that her only novel was a failure. It was not until 1850, when WUTHERING HEIGHTS received a second printing with an introduction by Emily's sister Charlotte, that it attracted a wide readership. And from that point the reputation of the book has never looked back. Today it is widely recognized as one of the great novels of English literature.

Even so, WUTHERING HEIGHTS continues to divide readers. It is not a pretty love story; rather, it is swirling tale of largely unlikeable people caught up in obsessive love that turns to dark madness. It is cruel, violent, dark and brooding, and many people find it extremely unpleasant. And yet--it possesses a grandeur of language and design, a sense of tremendous pity and great loss that sets it apart from virtually every other novel written.

The novel is told in the form of an extended flashback. After a visit to his strange landlord, a newcomer to the area desires to know the history of the family--which he receives from Nelly Deans, a servant who introduces us to the Earnshaw family who once resided in the house known as Wuthering Heights. It was once a cheerful place, but Old Earnshaw adopted a "Gipsy" child who he named Heathcliff. And Catherine, daughter of the house, found in him the perfect companion: wild, rude, and as proud and cruel as she. But although Catherine loves him, even recognizes him as her soulmate, she cannot lower herself to marry so far below her social station. She instead marries another, and in so doing sets in motion an obsession that will destroy them all.
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Format: Paperback
I first read "Jane Eyre" in eighth grade and have read it every few years since. It is one of my favorite novels, and so much more than a gothic romance to me, although that's how I probably would have defined it at age 13. I have always been struck, haunted in a way, by the characters - Jane and Mr. Rochester. They take on new depth every time I meet them...and their's is a love story for the ages.

Charlotte Bronte's first published novel, and her most noted work, is a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age story. Jane is plain, poor, alone and unprotected, but due to her fierce independence and strong will she grows and is able to defy society's expectations of her. This is definitely feminist literature, published in 1847, way before the beginning of any feminist movement. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why the novel has had such a wide following since it first came on the market. It is also one of the first gothic romances published and defines the genre.

Jane Eyre, who is our narrator, was born into a poor family. Her parents died when she was a small child and the little girl was sent to live with her Uncle and Aunt Reed at Gateshead. Jane's Uncle truly cared for her and showed his affection openly, but Mrs. Reed seemed to hate the orphan, and neglected her while she pampered and spoiled her own children. This unfair treatment emphasized Jane's status as an unwanted outsider. She was often punished harshly. On one occasion her nasty cousin Jack picked a fight with her. Jane tried to defend herself and was locked in the terrifying "Red Room" as a result. Jane's Uncle Reed had died in this room a little while before, and Mrs. Reed knew how frightened she was of the chamber.
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