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Free Barron's Booknotes-Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte-Free Online Book Notes
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We wish to thank the following educators who helped us focus our Book Notes series to meet student needs and critiqued our manuscripts to provide quality materials.

Murray Bromberg, Principal Wang High School of Queens, Holliswood, New York

Sandra Dunn, English Teacher Hempstead High School, Hempstead, New York

Lawrence J. Epstein, Associate Professor of English Suffolk County Community College, Selden, New York

Leonard Gardner, Lecturer, English Department State University of New York at Stony Brook

Beverly A. Haley, Member, Advisory Committee National Council of Teachers of English Student Guide Series Fort Morgan, Colorado

Elaine C. Johnson, English Teacher Tamalpais Union High School District Mill Valley, California

Marvin J. LaHood, Professor of English State University of New York College at Buffalo

Robert Lecker, Associate Professor of English McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

David E. Manly, Professor of Educational Studies State University of New York College at Geneseo

Bruce Miller, Associate Professor of Education State University of New York at Buffalo

Frank O'Hare, Professor of English Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio

Faith Z. Schullstrom, Member of Executive Committee National Council of Teachers of English Director of Curriculum and Instruction Guilderland Central School District, New York

Mattie C. Williams, Director, Bureau of Language Arts Chicago Public Schools, Chicago, Illinois


Basch, Francoise. Relative Creatures: Victorian Women in Society and the Novel. New York: Schocken Books, 1974. Contains a useful chapter on "Revolt and Duty in the Brontes."

Bentley, Phyllis. The Brontes and Their World. New York: Viking Press, 1969. An illustrated look at the places and people associated with the Bronte sisters' lives and works. Bentley is also the author of a good short biography of the Bronte sisters.

Cecil, David. "Charlotte Bronte" in Early Victorian Novelists. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1958, pp. 100-135. Although he admires some aspects of Jane Eyre, Cecil concentrates on the novel's weaknesses.

Craik, W. A. The Bronte Novels. London: Gethuren, 1968. Defends the characterizations of Rochester and St. John.

Ewbank, Inga-Stina. Their Proper Sphere: A Study of the Bronte Sisters as Early Victorian Female Novelists. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1966.

Gaskell, Elizabeth Cleghorn. Life of Charlotte Bronte. New York: E. P. Dutton, 1908. An early biography by a woman writer who was a close friend of Charlotte Bronte. Well worth reading, even though not all of Mrs. Gaskell's facts and opinions are accepted today.

Gerin, Winifred. Charlotte Bronte: The Evolution of a Genius. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1967. The most complete and thoroughly researched biography of Charlotte.

Gilbert, Sandra M., and Susan Gubar. The Madwoman in the Attic. A Study of Women and the Literary Imagination in the Nineteenth Century. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1979.

Gregor, Ian, ed. The Brontes: A Collection of Critical Essays. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1970. A good source book.

Knies, Erik A. The Art of Charlotte Bronte. Athens: Ohio University Press, 1969.

McCullough, Bruce. "The Subjective Novel" in Representative English Novelists. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1946, pp. 169-183. Sees Jane Eyre as an example of romanticism.

Martin, Robert Bernard. The Accents of Persuasion: Charlotte Bronte's Novels. New York: W. W.. Norton, 1966. Very useful on imagery, the supernatural, and the religious and moral themes of the story.

Moglen, Helene. Charlotte Bronte: The Self Conceived. New York: W. W. Norton, 1976. Good on the Byronic hero and the fairytale aspects of Bronte's novels.

O'Neill, Judith, ed. Criticism on Charlotte and Emily Bronte. Coral Gables, Florida: University of Miami Press, 1979.

Ratchford, Fannie E. The Brontes' Web of Childhood. New York: Russell & Russell, 1964. An interesting look at how Charlotte Bronte's childhood fantasies and writings influenced her mature novels.

Showalter, Elaine. A Literature of Their Own: British Women Novelists from Bronte to Lessing. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1977. A perceptive feminist critique.

Thorslev, Peter L. The Byronic Hero. Minneapolis, Minn.: University of Minnesota Press, 1962.

Tillotson, Kathleen. "Jane Eyre" in Novels of the Eighteen Forties. London: Oxford University Press, 1965.

Winnifrith, Tom. The Brontes. New York: Macmillan, 1977.

Woolf, Virginia. A Room of One's Own. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1957. (Originally published in 1929.)


_____. Shirley. London: Oxford University Press, 1969. A tale of love and social unrest, set in England during the Napoleonic era.

_____. The Professor. London: Oxford University Press, 1967. Bronte's first novel, not published until after her death, tells the story of an English schoolmaster in France who must choose between a well-to-do woman and the young student teacher he loves.

_____. Villette. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1971. Besides Jane Eyre, the only Charlotte Bronte novel still much read today. The novel draws on Charlotte Bronte's experiences in Belgium; its heroine Lucy Snowe, is in some ways a darker more complex version of Jane Eyre.

Shorter, Clement. The Brontes: Life and Letters. 2 vol. New York: Haskell House, 1969. Charlotte Bronte's letters are filled with illuminating insight into the art of Jane Eyre as well as the author's own life. (Note: There are several other editions of the letters, and you will also find selections from them in a number of biographies and critical studies.)

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