Jane Eyre
  • Publication Date: January 12, 1999
  • ISBN: 9781551111803 / 1551111802
  • 680 pages; 5½" x 8½"

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Jane Eyre

  • Publication Date: January 12, 1999
  • ISBN: 9781551111803 / 1551111802
  • 680 pages; 5½" x 8½"

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.


“Joining fiction to history, this edition of Jane Eyre illustrates the way literature addresses important moral and political issues. The original nineteenth-century documents in the appendices provide an invaluable opportunity for readers to view the novel in both its biographical and its historical contexts; it illustrates, in a broader sense, how literature is a vital element in the discourse of an age, and thus helps shape history.” — Micael M. Clarke, Loyola University Chicago

“While the student who approaches Jane Eyre for the first time or the reader unfamiliar with Victorian culture will find Richard Nemesvari’s introduction and annotations very useful, most helpful of all are the appendices, which place the novel in the context of Victorian writing on governesses, gender roles, empire and race. The Broadview edition of Jane Eyre makes it possible for readers to approach Brontë’s novel with a fuller sense of the way it engages important Victorian social issues. An excellent introduction to Jane Eyre in its time.” — Mary Ellis Gibson, University of North Carolina - Greensboro

A Note on the Text
Charlotte Brontë: A Brief Chronology

Jane Eyre

Appendix A: Prefatory Material to Subsequent Editions of Jane Eyre

  1. Preface to the Second Edition of Jane Eyre
  2. Note on the Third Edition of Jane Eyre

Appendix B: Charlotte Brontë: Correspondence on Being a Governess

  1. To Emily Brontë, June 8, 1839
  2. To Ellen Nussey, January 24, 1840
  3. To Ellen Nussey, March 3, 1841

Appendix C: Jane Eyre and the Governess Question

  1. “Hints on the Modern Governess System” (Fraser’s Magazine)
  2. “Governesses Benevolent Institution” (Punch)
  3. Sarah Lewis, “On the Social Position of Governesses” (Fraser’s Magazine)
  4. Elizabeth Rigby, Review of Jane Eyre, Vanity Fair, Governesses Benevolent Institution Report for 1847 (Quarterly Review)

Appendix D: Jane Eyre and the Proper Young Woman

  1. Sarah Stickney Ellis, The Daughters of England: Their Position in Society, Character and Responsibilities

Appendix E: Race, Empire, and the West Indies

  1. Thomas Carlyle, “Occasional Discourse on the Negro Question” (Fraser’s Magazine)
  2. John Stuart Mill, “The Negro Question” (Fraser’s Magazine)

Appendix F: Jamaica and Governor Eyre

  1. Despatch from Edward John Eyre, “The Insurrection in Jamaica” (The Times)
  2. “The Outbreak in Jamaica” (The Times)
  3. Editorial (The Times)
  4. Charles Buxton, Letter to the Editor (The Times)
  5. “The Jamaica Question” (Punch)
  6. “The Bold Governor Eyre and the Bulls of Exeter Hall” (Punch)
  7. John Stuart Mill, “Statement of the Jamaica Committee” (The Daily News)
  8. Thomas Carlyle, Letter to Hamilton Hume
  9. John Ruskin, “A Speech in London” (The Daily Telegraph)

Select Bibliography

Richard Nemesvari of the Department of English at St. Francis Xavier University, has written widely on nineteenth-century British fiction. He also co-edited Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s Aurora Floyd for this series.