Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
This is wonderful stuff, of course, just about peerless as a story of love obstructed by social pressures. Everybody should read it.
The interesting thing for me, as my first re-read in quite a while, was how much of the story I misremembered. I had totally forgotten the lengthy prologue of Jane’s childhood and the important episodes during Jane and Rochester’s separation. I first read it, probably too fast, back in undergraduate days and my brain was pretty muddled in that period. The things that remained vivid were, I suppose, the iconic material – Jane and Rochester’s convincingly complex relationship, the madwoman in the attic, “Reader I married him”. I was sure I remembered the description of the destructive fire, too, but that happens entirely off-stage. Curious.