Jane Eyre /ˈɛər/ (originally published as Jane Eyre: An Autobiography) is a novel by English writer Charlotte Brontë. It was published on 16 October 1847 by Smith, Elder & Co. of London, England, under the pen name "Currer Bell." The first American edition was released the following year by Harper & Brothers of New York.
Primarily of the bildungsroman genre, Jane Eyre follows the emotions and experiences of its eponymous character, including her growth to adulthood, and her love for Mr. Rochester, the byronic master of fictitious Thornfield Hall. In its internalisation of the action – the focus is on the gradual unfolding of Jane's moral and spiritual sensibility and all the events are coloured by a heightened intensity that was previously the domain of poetry – the novel revolutionised the art of fiction. Charlotte Brontë has been called the 'first historian of the private consciousness' and the literary ancestor of writers like Joyce and Proust. The novel contains elements of social criticism, with a strong sense of morality at its core, but is nonetheless a novel many consider ahead of its time given the individualistic character of Jane and the novel's exploration of classism, sexuality, religion, and proto-feminism.
Whether one treasures this classic piece of literature as an old companion or has no acquaintance with it at all, the listener is in for a treat. Reader Bentinck draws us at once into the trials assailing the orphaned and ill-treated 10-year-old Jane. Bentinck's soft voice, flawless rhythms, and cultured British accent are exactly what's needed to guide listeners through this heroine's wild history of tribulations and jubilations. She portrays men, women, and children of different classes quite convincingly, and illuminates a wide range of nuanced emotions as Jane encounters hunger and cruelty as well as tender friendships at school, then a world of anger, fear, defeat, humor, sarcasm, affection, and exaltation as teacher and governess. The remarkable plot, the carefully delineated characters, and Bentinck's acting facility make the journey an intriguing and memorable experience.