Penn State

Barbara Bird - Associate Professor, Department of Film/Video and Media Studies, Penn State University Park

Book Title: Jane Eyre

Author: Charlotte Bronte

Book Description:

I discovered Jane Erye on my Dad's bookshelf at a time in my life when I felt misunderstood, and very much under-appreciated. Lowood Institution was a far cry from a mid-west American high school, but I fell in love with every rainy inch of Charlotte Bronte's Victorian countryside. It was marvelous to me that the main character was a girl, not only plain, poor, and orphaned, but able to stand up for herself in a time and place so hostile to women. Random House's 1943 edition (which sits on my bookshelf now), and the wonderful somber woodcuts, always evoke Jane's world, her struggle for personal integrity, and my own young desire to be taken seriously.

In the1847 preface, Ms Bronte writes, "Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion." I continue to be grateful for such a like-minded companion as Jane Eyre.

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