Jane Eyre

By Charlotte Brontë
Read by Nadia May

18.87 Hours 01/01/1995 unabridged
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Jane Eyre, the plain yet spirited governess, introduced a new kind of heroine to literature: one whose virtuous integrity, sharp intellect, and tireless perseverance broke through class barriers to win equal stature with the man she loved. Orphaned and subject to a cruel regime at Lowood charity school, Jane nonetheless emerges unbroken in spirit and integrity. How she takes up the post of governess at Thornfield Hall, meets and loves Mr. Rochester, and discovers the impediment to their lawful marriage are elements in a story that transcends melodrama to portray a woman’s passionate search for a wider and richer life than that traditionally accorded to her sex in Victorian society. Hailed by William Makepeace Thackeray as “the masterwork of a great genius,” this impassioned love story is still regarded, over a century after it first appeared, as one of the finest novels in literature.

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Summary

Summary

Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award

Jane Eyre, the plain yet spirited governess, introduced a new kind of heroine to literature: one whose virtuous integrity, sharp intellect, and tireless perseverance broke through class barriers to win equal stature with the man she loved.

Orphaned and subject to a cruel regime at Lowood charity school, Jane nonetheless emerges unbroken in spirit and integrity. How she takes up the post of governess at Thornfield Hall, meets and loves Mr. Rochester, and discovers the impediment to their lawful marriage are elements in a story that transcends melodrama to portray a woman’s passionate search for a wider and richer life than that traditionally accorded to her sex in Victorian society.

Hailed by William Makepeace Thackeray as “the masterwork of a great genius,” this impassioned love story is still regarded, over a century after it first appeared, as one of the finest novels in literature.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“At the end we are steeped through and through with the genius, the vehemence, the indignation of Charlotte Brontë.” Virginia Woolf
“One of my very favorites of all time is Jane Eyre. It simply has it all—a marvelous, compelling story told brilliantly, wonderfully realized characters, a gorgeous love story, evocative settings. And the madwoman in the attic. Hard to top it.” Nora Roberts, #1 New York Times bestselling author
Jane Eyre was the book that made me want to write.” Sue Monk Kidd, #1 New York Times bestselling author
Jane Eyre is full of drama: fires, storms, attempted murder, and a mad wife conveniently stashed away in the attic. This is very sexy stuff.” Chris Kellett, 500 Great Books by Women
“This is an extraordinary book. Although a work of fiction, it is no mere novel, for there is nothing but nature and truth about it...The story is, therefore, unlike all that we have read, with very few exceptions; and for power of thought and expression, we do not know its rival.” Era (British newspaper, November 1847)
“What a joy to hear a favorite classic performed with excellence! Nadia May’s skill as a storyteller has the listener soon believing Jane Eyre is speaking directly to him or her, ‘the gentle reader.’ The story of Jane, orphan governess, and her tragic love, Mr. Rochester, has the same plot as many of today’s romances, but Brontë’s masterful use of language and description moves it to a higher plane. Her portrayal of the social milieu of the times and Jane’s view of realities and her yearnings to transcend them will give present-day women much to ponder. A timeless work flawlessly presented.” AudioFile
“Narrator Nadia May pulls listeners deep into Brontë’s most widely read work, producing a rewarding experience for lovers of the book and, even more critically, introducing newcomers to why the novel is so deeply admired. She reads in a crisp voice that gives Jane the exact tone the novel suggests—no nonsense, a bit brisk, but with a delightful undercurrent of self-conscious awareness, not to mention the passionate intensity that pops out here and there. May performs Jane as a young girl and as a wiser woman, a feat she carries off with admirable success. She renders the terrible Mrs. Reed, the brooding Rochester, and the demanding John Rivers with strong ability as well.” Library Journal (audio review)

Reviews

Reviews

by Phoebe 9/13/2017
Overall Performance
Narration
Story

Great Narrator and wonderful classic

This is not my first time reading Jane Eyre but this was the best way I could read Jane Eyre. The little details I had once gloss over to get to the interesting parts (correspondence with Jane and Mr. Rochester) was brought to life by the excellent story telling of Wanda McCaddon. Jane Eyre is a classic gothic tale that shows the readers the example of a passionate woman who could not be contained in a plain form. We all heard the story, but reading it shows that the summaries does not give the character justice. The audible version allow me to understand the minor details and enjoy this story on a new level.
by Ash Ryan 9/13/2017
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Brilliantly conceived and beautifully executed...an intellectual and emotional tour de force

One of the greatest novels I have ever read. I was just expecting a sort of Gothic romance, but this is so much more. There may be some spoilers in what follows, but I will try to stick to general, thematic terms rather than disclosing specific plot points.

Jane Eyre is, above all, a novel about the unity, versus the duality, of mind and body, reason and emotion---or, as Brontë puts it, "judgment and feeling"---particularly as this applies to the Christian religion. Christianity is, of course, committed to dualism, but Brontë, though paying lip-service to religion, rejects this, depicting its evil in many of its manifestations. Some of the devout Christian characters she paints as blatant hypocrites, but even those whom Jane respects or even admires, when it comes right down to it, she does not emulate. Jane seeks happiness in this life, here on earth, while even the "good" Christians are doomed to seek it only in the next, and that by sacrificing it in this one.

The basic story idea brilliantly demonstrates Brontë's theme: Jane is given the choice of a loveless marriage, or unmarried love. The latter situation may seem a bit contrived to the modern reader, and indeed it seems as though Brontë herself feels this on some level, as the passionate appeal of Jane's lover is much more convincing than her reason for refusing him---namely, that the laws forbidding both divorce and adultery must be in place for <i>some</i> reason. (That may be generally true, but they clearly don't apply in this case, or make an exception for it.) Even when she is finally able to follow both her heart and her mind, it is only after these Christian principles have resulted in the horrible crippling of her beloved, which damns those principles all the more.

In short, Jane Eyre is a book about a woman's struggle to stay true to her whole self---heart and mind---against Christianity's attacks on both fronts. I don't think it was Brontë's conscious intention to write a novel condemning Christianity for sundering our hearts from our minds, but only what she viewed as corrupt interpretations of it---yet that is what she did, and it is brilliant. Both her heart and her mind were clearly much more dedicated to this life than the next, as Jane Eyre powerfully demonstrates. This is a novel way ahead of its time, in many, many ways.
by Christopher 9/13/2017
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All Time Favorite!

One of the great classics of Western Literature, and one that I read again and again. Jane Eyre, published more then a hundred and sixty years ago, still thrills me. Erotically charged, yet simply told, Jane Eyre should be required reading for every teen (and adult!) who thinks the Twilight novels are great literature. With Nadia May narrating I now have another way to enjoy my favorite book. I also recommend the superb British mini-series starring Ruth Wilson and Toby Stephens.
by Addi 9/13/2017
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Narration
Story

Wonderful read!

I read this book a long time ago and wanted to refresh my memory on the storyline before seeing the newest film version (which I didn't end up liking, but that's besides the point). This audio book production was just what I needed to catch myself up on the plot details without going to the effort of sitting down and reading it whenever I get the chance. Nadia May does an excellent job narrating and draws me right in. I knew I loved this story already, but hearing it read out loud was a whole different experience that made the story come to life even more. I would highly recommend this wonderful production of the well-loved classic.
by Holly 9/13/2017
Overall Performance
Narration
Story

Nice telling of a classic

This is one of the few Bronte classics that I actually enjoyed. Jane is a delightful character, and Wanda McCaddon's voice adds an extra element of sweetness to her. Some of the dialogue gets a tad flowery and overdone at times (who talked like that, honestly?), but overall this is a fun story with engaging characters.

Author

Author Bio: Charlotte Brontë

Charlotte Brontë (1816–1855) grew up in the isolated parsonage at Haworth, Yorkshire, where her father was curate. She and her sisters Emily and Anne thrived in fantasy worlds that drew on their voracious reading of Shakespeare, romantic, and gothic fiction. Charlotte was employed as a teacher and a governess before she began writing with her sisters. The Professor, her first novel, was rejected for publication until 1857, although Jane Eyre, published in 1847 under a pseudonym, achieved great success.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction/Classics
Runtime: 18.87
Audience: Adult
Language: English