I was an impressionable teenager the first time I read Jane Eyre and I have reread it countless times since then. Every time I have reread it I have uncovered another angle or aspect in this superb manuscript. My first impression was one of awe and admiration due to the sheer power of the characters and the story. Each rereading has produced a powerful effect shifting from wonder and respect to anger and disbelief. These pendular reactions probably mirrored my own personal development and life experiences.
I don’t think it’s necessary to go through these transitions, suffice it to say that this period of veneration lasted until I read Wide Sargasso Sea, from then on Jane Eyre suffered an irreversible upheaval. The characters and events have been constructed and deconstructed in my mind obsessively to such an extent that I had to write the sequel to both novels in order to get them out of my system, and that is exactly what I did.
Now that I have written my sequel I am going to reread Jane Eyre one more time, which I’m sure will not be the last time, but it will be a very different rereading.This time I’d like to reread it publicly on this blog, as if it were my diary. I don’t know the exact shape it will take, but my plan is to write about my reflections on the whole novel as I reread it from start to finish.
Why am I doing this? Because I need to read it again, and I need to publicly record my impressions and perhaps offer new insights to myself and anyone else interested in deciphering this unequaled work of art.
- The 100 best novels: No 12 – Jane Eyre (theguardian.com)
- Reviews of Wide Sargasso Sea (Goodreads)
- Reviews of Jane Eyre (Goodreads)