Elizabeth Gaskell and the Brontës - It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Anne Brontë’s writings, and those of her sisters Emily and Charlotte Brontë as well. There are other writers who I lo...
18 hours ago
Jane EyreHere is a clip of the recording via EW:
Written by: Charlotte Bronte
Narrated by: Thandie Newton
Length: 19 hrs and 10 mins
Following Jane from her childhood as an orphan in Northern England through her experience as a governess at Thornfield Hall, Charlotte Brontë's Gothic classic is an early exploration of women's independence in the mid-19th century and the pervasive societal challenges women had to endure. At Thornfield, Jane meets the complex and mysterious Mr. Rochester, with whom she shares a complicated relationship that ultimately forces her to reconcile the conflicting passions of romantic love and religious piety.
"I think the reason we're so struck by [Jane Eyre] is how Charlotte Brontë manages to relate, expertly, what it means to be a human being...and that never changes." (Narrator Thandie Newton)
“I felt a huge connection—coming of age in an environment which defines you as opposed to you defining yourself,” she said. “At that time it was much more of a straitjacket for women, but I certainly felt that I was defined by my environment, my school—Cornwall. As you get older you are able to wriggle out of those definitions and ask questions that lead you to a more liberated place, and that is very much what Jane Eyre is about.”
Whether Jane Eyre’s quest for liberation makes her a feminist—or at least proto-feminist—icon is a matter of academic debate. Newton, who studied anthropology at Cambridge University, said it was crucial to remember that the character was written long before the advent of the Suffragettes.
“She felt all these things from her gut, not from a headline in a newspaper, there wasn’t a rally to go and vent her frustration, this is how she felt as a person,” Newton said. “She knows from the passion inside her, the workings of her mind, she knows it. And that is incredibly powerful—she’s not joining a band of female activists and I think that’s even more powerful. (Nico Hines)