Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre from 1847 is my favourite novel. Full stop. I love the set-up and characters, and I love the intricate love story
I may have been a little thick but when I first read the novel I only slowly understood that Mr Rochester was Jane’s love interest, and that she was his. I was so surprised when he professed his love for her – which tells you something about the mastery of Charlotte Brontë’s intricate intertwining of the plot with the mind of her protagonist. Jane was surprised and I was surprised. Pretty good writing that.
I love the gothic romanticism of it in general and the steadfastness of Jane in particular. She is a true modern heroine with her clear vision of equality between her and Rochester as to both gender and class. This is not just some school mistress’ romantic day dreaming, this is great literature with the psychologically interwoven descriptions of landscape, environments and people.
Jane Eyre has acted a reference point during my studies measuring art and literature from the period against it in terms of style and quality. So it has been important in professional terms, but the impression of the book it self in terms of joy in reading is immeasurable – it has simpy enriched my life.