Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte and Patrice Lawrence

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The well-known and very popular classic Jane Eyre has been carefully and thoughtfully rewritten to find a new audience amongst younger readers. The significant events that take place throughout Jane Eyre’s life, from her early years as an unwanted orphan, to her time spent at Lowood Institution as a student and then a teacher, her governess position at Thornfield Hall, the devastation of her cancelled marriage, the mystery of Mr Rochester’s wife and the tragic consequences of the discovery are all shared in this story. The sometimes disturbing themes of bullying, poverty, hardship, loneliness and cruelty are still true to the original but presented in a less confronting manner.

Jane’s story is both powerful and moving with her character showing traits of great resilience and fortitude. It is also full of enduring and unrequited love along with the painful heartache that accompanies these deep feelings and is perhaps more suited for mature younger readers. For those older students for whom English is not the first language or who struggle with a lengthy novel, this may provide a welcome alternative to the original version.

This abridged adaptation is an engaging historical read that may encourage readers to further explore the classics.

Themes: Tragedy, Historical Fiction, Orphans, Bullying, Poverty, Resilience, Mystery, Hope.

Kathryn Beilby