Thornfield Hall

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Thornfield Hall is the home of the male romantic lead, Edward Rochester, in the 1847 novel Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. Thornfield Hall is also where a large part of the action takes place.

Brontë uses the depiction of Thornfield in a manner consistent with the gothic tone of the novel as a whole. It is an isolated mansion of unspecified size, with a number of apparently unused rooms, which, during the Bertha Mason section of the plot, become important to the narrative. The Hall's gloomy character also expresses and amplifies the sense of Rochester's depression and malaise before he falls in love with Jane.

In contrast, the grounds surrounding Thornfield are sublime and healthful to the novel's many troubled characters, and serves as a backdrop to many of the happier scenes.

Inspiration[edit]

It is suggested[by whom?] that Brontë based Thornfield on Haddon Hall, near Bakewell, Derbyshire, although the evidence for this is unclear and is doubtful, perhaps based on the BBC editor's decision to use it in filming. Haddon Hall has, however been used to depict Thornfield on multiple occasions: in 1996 for Franco Zeffirelli's Jane Eyre, in 2006 for the BBC mini series directed by Susanna White, and the 2011 feature starring Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender directed by Cary Fukunaga.

Another theory is that North Lees Hall in Hathersage is in fact the inspiration for Thornfield, particularly given that "Morton" in the novel is believed[by whom?] to be based on Hathersage, and that Bronte stayed in the area prior to writing the novel.

A third theory is that High Sunderland Hall in Halifax was the basis for Thornfield. It had all the Gothic features of Thornfield and is a location that was familiar to the Brontë family.