Reading,  Writing

Jane Eyre Day – A Bit Belated

Happy Columbus Day here in the USA.

Of course, in the Regency, the British didn’t celebrate Columbus Day, so for once a Monday holiday does not give me a blog topic.

Now, if I my blog would have been last Friday, I would have had a ready-made topic. Friday was Jane Eyre Day, the anniversary of the release of Jane Eyre in 1847, under the pseudonym Currer Bell. Just Saturday a week ago, Megan asked us all about our favorite movie version of Jane Eyre. If Megan could anticipate Jane Eyre Day, then maybe I can celebrate it after the fact.

I remember reading Jane Eyre when I was a girl. Athough it was not and never has been a favorite of mine, it is a story that has always stayed with me. I mean, who could forget the interrupted wedding day when, at the altar, Jane learns that Rochester has a mad wife in the attic? All the gothic spookiness of the fire and Grace Poole then makes great sense. Or the message wafting telepathically from Rochester to Jane? Or the miraculous cure of his blindness?

Unfortunately, I also remembered that Jane fell in a ditch and quite amazingly wound up on the doorstep of cousins and discovered she was an heiress (not exactly how it happened in the book, but that was how I remembered it). Even as a dreamy, romantic kid, I felt that was too contrived. I also thought that Rochester was much too mean to Jane and I never understood why she fell in love with him.

But, even all that stayed with me through the years until I read the book again and watched countless adaptations. That proves Jane Eyre’s greatness as a novel, in my mind. It is unforgettable.

My next book, Born To Scandal, coming to bookstores Nov 13 and as an ebook Dec 1, is an homage to Jane Eyre. It also is a story of a tortured hero who hires a governess with her own troubled past. It is also full of secrets.

On Friday, Jane Eyre Day, a quote appeared in my email (I’m signed up for a daily Inspirational Quote) that could have been the motto for my book:

“Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity or registering wrongs.” — Charlotte Bronte.

It is a quote from Helen Burns to Jane. Helen was my favorite character in Jane Eyre, especially as personified by the child Elizabeth Taylor in the 1943 movie version.

What is your favorite quote from Jane Eyre or your favorite part of the story or your favorite character? How did you celebrate Jane Eyre day and how are you celebrating Columbus Day?

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10 years ago

It’s not a Jane Eyre quote but is similar to the one in your post. I’ve got this tacked above my desk as a reminder: “I’ve had a few arguments with people but I never carry a grudge. You know why? Because while you’re carrying a grudge, they’re out dancing.” Buddy Hackett

Diane Gaston
10 years ago

Omigosh, Susan. I LOVE that quote.

The one I had over my desk at work (before I retired to be a writer) was: “It is never too late to be what you might have been.” — George Eliot

Perfect anticipation of my new career and a great message for the geriatric clients I worked with.

Kate Worth
10 years ago

I always preferred the tortured heroes in gothic novels like Jane Eyre to Austen’s earlier romances, although I loved those, too. Wuthering Heights was a favorite of mine, even though the Heathcliff-Catherine-Edgar triangle was deeply unsatisfying. The tragedy appealed to me in my emotionally dramatic teen years, I suppose.

“It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now; so he shall never know how I love him; and that, not because he’s handsome, Nelly, but because he’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same, and [Edgar’s] is as different as a moonbeam from lightning, or frost from fire.”

How romantic is that!

Diane Gaston
10 years ago

Hi, Kate!!
(take a look at Kate’s wonderful indy debut The Promise at Amazon and other ebook stores)

Wuthering Heights was not a favorite of mine. Having souls finally be together on the moors after death was not my idea of a happy ending.

But the quotation from the book is really romantic!!!

Elena Greene
10 years ago

I enjoy the dialogue between Jane and Rochester, for example, when he asks her if she thinks he’s handsome and she says no.

Louisa Cornell
10 years ago

I am anxiously awaiting your homage to Jane Eyre, O Divine One! Jane Eyre is one of my favorite novels ever and has been since I first read it at the age of ten.

One of my favorite exchanges between Jane and Rochester is after he is burned and they are reunited and he asks if she thinks he is ugly and she says “Yes, sir. You always were you know.”

I LOVE that Buddy Hackett quote! One of my favorites is :

“It is a waste of energy to hate people. Half of the people you hate don’t know it and the ones who do know, don’t care.”
Medgar Evers

Diane Gaston
10 years ago

Love the Medgar Evers quote, Louisa! How true it is.

Elena, I never wanted my romantic heroes not to be handsome, even as a kid, so I suspect that element did not work for me 🙂

Elena Greene
10 years ago

Diane, I appreciate handsome as in Brad Pitt but I also like rugged as in Daniel Craig, if that makes sense. I always thought of Rochester as rugged.

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