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Jane Eyre

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, first published in 1847 under the pseudonym Currer Bell.

The story of Jane Eyre is one of the best-known in English fiction. Jane is the orphan who survives a miserable early life, first with her aunt at Gateshead Hall and then at Lowood School. She leaves the school for Thornfield Hall, to become governess to the French ward of Mr Rochester. She and Rochester fall in love but, at their wedding, it is revealed he is married already and his wife, insane, is kept in Thornfield's attic. When Jane Eyre was published in 1847, it was a great success and brought fame to Charlotte Bronte. Combined with Gothic mystery and horror, the book explores many themes, including the treatment of children, relations between men and women, religious faith and hypocrisy, individuality, morality, equality and the nature of true love.


Dinah Birch
Professor of English Literature and Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research at the University of Liverpool

Karen O'Brien
Vice Principal and Professor of English Literature at King's College London


Sara Lyons
Lecturer in Victorian Literature at the University of Kent

Producer: Simon Tillotson.

Available now

43 minutes

Last on

Thu 18 Jun 2015 21:30


Karen O'Brien at King's College London

Sara Lyons at the University of Kent

The Brontë Society & Brontë Parsonage Museum

Charlotte Brontë – British Library

Jane Eyre – Wikipedia



Juliet Barker, The Brontës (first published 1994; Abacus, 2010)

The Brontës (ed. Christine Alexander), Tales of Glass Town, Angria, and Gondal: Selected Early Writings (Oxford University Press, 2010)

Terry Eagleton, Myths of Power: A Marxist Study of the Brontës (first published 1975; Palgrave Macmillan, 2005)

Elizabeth Gaskell (ed. Angus Easson), The Life of Charlotte Brontë (first published 1857; Oxford University Press, 2009)

Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar, The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth Century Literary Imagination (first published 1979; Yale University Press, 2000)

Heather Glen, Charlotte Brontë: The Imagination in History (Oxford University Press, 2004)

Heather Glen (ed.), Jane Eyre: Contemporary Critical Essays (Palgrave Macmillan, 1997)

Heather Glen (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to the Brontës (Cambridge University Press, 2002)

Lyndall Gordon, Charlotte Brontë: A Passionate Life (first published 1994; Virago, 2008)

John Kucich and Jenny Bourne Taylor (eds.), Oxford History of the Novel in English vol 3: The Nineteenth-century Novel, 1820-1880 (Oxford University Press, 2011)

John Maynard, Charlotte Brontë and Sexuality (Cambridge   University Press, 1984)

Lucasta Miller, The Brontë Myth (Vintage, 2002)

Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea (first published 1966; Penguin Classics, 2000)

Sally Shuttleworth, Charlotte Brontë and Victorian Psychology (first published 1996; Cambridge University Press, 2004)

Patsy Stoneman, Charlotte Brontë: Writers and their Work (Northcote House, 2013)

Marianne Thormahlen (ed.), The Brontës in Context (Cambridge University Press, 2014)



Role Contributor
Presenter Melvyn Bragg
Interviewed Guest Dinah Birch
Interviewed Guest Karen O'Brien
Interviewed Guest Sara Lyons
Producer Simon Tillotson


  • Thu 18 Jun 2015 09:00
  • Thu 18 Jun 2015 21:30

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