One of the great literary love stories of all time, Jane Eyre is also the story of a woman who speaks her truth even when this means risking everything. The orphan Jane endures a cruel aunt, harsh schooling, and the severe limitations placed on her gender to eventually find herself in love with her employer, the dashing and mysterious Mr. Rochester. A secret in his past forces Jane to choose between compromising her integrity or giving up on him, until her courageous choices and gripping events alter her fate. The novel scandalized Victorian critics in 1847 but was an immediate bestseller and has thrilled millions of readers for more than one hundred and fifty years. Never out of print, this new edition presents Virginia Woolf's path-breaking essay on Brontë, a detailed chronology, and a new afterword written specifically for contemporary readers.
Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855) ranks among the world's greatest writers. Born into a poor, religious family she was nevertheless filled with unbridled passion, renegade ambition, and astounding talent. She defied the expectations of her age by succeeding as a woman writer like few before her. A full-time writer after her early career as a teacher and governess, she died at the age of thirty-nine from complications during her first pregnancy in 1855.