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Jane Eyre, the story of a young girl and her passage into adulthood, was an immediate commercial success at the time of its original publication in 1847. Its representation of the underside of domestic life and the hypocrisy behind religious enthusiasm drew both praise and bitter criticism, while Charlotte Brontë's striking expose of poor living conditions for children in charity schools as well as her poignant portrayal of the limitations faced by women who worked as governesses sparked great controversy and social debate. Jane Eyre, Brontë's best-known novel, remains an extraordinary coming-of-age narrative, and one of the great classics of literature.
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.