No. 3: Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte, 1848, Summary and Similar Books

Book No. 3 on our list of the Top 1,000 Best Romance Novels of All Time, get a summary of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, find similar books to Jane Eyre and find movie versions of the book.

When Jane Eyre was published in 1848 under the pseudonym Currer Bell, it became an instant bestseller. Rife with sexual references, a fascinated public speculated over the author. When they learned it was a woman, reviews turned sour. “Jane Eyre is indeed one of the coarsest books we’ve ever perused,” wrote a reviewer for The Rambler. “There is a tendency to relapse into that class of ideas, expressions, and circumstances, which is most connected with the grosser and more animal portion of our nature.”

Considered tame in the 21st Century, the novel nonetheless paved the way for more honest writing by women. In it, Bronte tells the partly-autobiographical tale of a girl stumbling through her maturation while on a quest for a love that seems to slip from her fingers. Gothic in style, the books drips with atmosphere from the very beginning: “There was no possibility of taking a walk that day. We had been wandering, indeed, in the leafless shrubbery an hour in the morning; but since dinner (Mrs. Reed, when there was no company, dined early) the cold winter wind had brought with it clouds so sombre, and a rain so penetrating, that further out-door exercise was now out of the question.”

Jane Eyre is No. 3 on our list of the Top 1,000 Best Romance Books of All Time.

Sequels to Jane Eyre

A Breath of Eyre, Eve Marie Mont

Jane Eyre’s Daughter, Elizabeth Newark

Similar Books to Jane Eyre

Sense and Sensibility, by Jane Austen
Emma, by Jane Austen
Frederica, by Georgette Heyer
Magic Flutes, by Eva Ibbotson
Again the Magic, by Lisa Kleypas
Mansfield Park, by Jane Austen
Persuasion, by Jane Austen
Northanger Abbey, by Jane Austen
Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte

Movie Versions of Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre (2011), starring Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender

Masterpiece Theatre: Jane Eyre (2007), starring Ruth Wilson and Toby Stephens

Jane Eyre (1983), starring Timothy Dalton and Zelah Clarke

Jane Eyre (1944), starring Orson Welles and Joan Fontaine

Jane Eyre (1997), starring Samantha Morton and Ciaran Hinds

Jane Eyre (1996), starring William Hurt and Charlotte Gainsbourg

Jane Eyre (1971), starring George C. Scott and Susannah York

Jane Eyre (1934), starring Virginia Bruce and Colin Clive

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