Adaptations of Jane Eyre

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Alice Brady as Jane Eyre in Woman and Wife (1918)

Jane Eyre, the 1847 novel by English writer Charlotte Brontë, has frequently been adapted for film, radio, television, and theatre, and has inspired a number of rewritings and reinterpretations.

Film[edit]

Irma Taylor as Jane and Charles Compton as John Reed in the Thanhouser Company's Jane Eyre (1910)
Mabel Ballin in Jane Eyre (1921), directed by Hugo Ballin

Silent films[edit]

Feature films[edit]

Radio[edit]

A 1949 adaptation for NBC University Theatre, starring Deborah Kerr

Television[edit]

Theatre[edit]

Charlotte Thompson in Charlotte Birch-Pfeiffer's stage adaptation of Jane Eyre (1874)[56]

Literature inspired by the novel[edit]

Sequels[edit]

  • The novelist Angela Carter was working on a sequel to Jane Eyre at the time of her death in 1992. This was to have been the story of Jane's stepdaughter Adèle Varens and her mother Céline. Only a synopsis survives.[69]
  • 1997: Mrs. Rochester: A Sequel to Jane Eyre by Hilary Bailey
  • 2000: Jane Rochester by Kimberly A. Bennett explores the first years of the Rochesters' marriage with gothic and explicit content.
  • 2003: Jane Eyre: The Graphic Novel. Script Adaptation: Amy Corzine; Artwork: John M. Burns; Lettering: Terry Wiley; Classical Comics Ltd.[70]
  • 2008: Jane Eyre's Daughter by Elizabeth Newark. A fully grown daughter of Jane Eyre must choose between two men.
  • 2014: All Hallows At Eyre Hall[71] by Luccia Gray. Volume One of the Eyre Hall Trilogy is a sequel to both Jane Eyre and its prequel Wide Sargasso Sea. Twenty-two years have passed since Jane became Mrs. Rochester, and Richard Mason has returned from Jamaica, revealing more of Edward Rochester's unspeakable secrets.
  • 2017: Jane Eyre at Cranbridge[72] by Emma Foxwood is a sequel to Jane Eyre. Shortly after Jane returns to Edward Rochester and marries him, a turn of events causes Jane to travel to the quiet village of Cranbridge. While there, she experiences a series of remarkable events.

Re-workings[edit]

  • 1958: Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart makes implicit and explicit reference to Jane Eyre. The novel is a gothic romance set in a remote French château in the 1950s. The heroine, Linda, is, like Jane, an orphan who takes on the role of governess, this time to a young boy. She compares her situation to that of Jane Eyre on several occasions. Motifs from Jane Eyre also appear in Stewart's The Ivy Tree (1961) but without explicit references to the novel.
  • 2002: Jenna Starborn by Sharon Shinn, a science-fiction novel based upon Jane Eyre[17]
  • 2010: Jane Slayre by Sherri Browning Erwin. In the same vein as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, this has Jane Eyre battling vampires while also working through the events of the original story.[73]
  • 2010 Sloane Hall by Libby Sternberg, a retelling set in 1929 Hollywood as films shifted from silent to sound[74]
  • 2010: Jane by April Lindner. Set in the 20th century with Mr. Rochester as Nico Rathburn, a world-famous rockstar[75]
  • 2010: Chocolate Roses by Joan Sowards. A modern LDS novel pardodying Jane Eyre.
  • 2012: The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey is a modern variation on Jane Eyre set in 1960s Scotland.[76]
  • 2012: Jane Eyre Laid Bare, which is credited to Eve Sinclair and Charlotte Brontë. An erotic mashup work.
  • 2012: Jane Eyrotica by Charlotte Brontë and Karena Rose. An erotic mashup work.
  • 2015: Re Jane: A Novel by Patricia Park pictures Jane as a half-Korean, half-American orphan in Flushing, Queens.[77]
  • 2015: "Unearthly Things" by George Mann; a comic book story published by Titan Comics and based upon the science fiction TV series Doctor Who, in which the Twelfth Doctor and Clara Oswald share an adventure with Brontë, and their relationship inspires the author to base the characters of Jane and Rochester on them.
  • 2017: Jane by Aline Brosh McKenna and Ramon K. Perez; a graphic novel published by Boom! Studios, it is a contemporary reworking of the novel set in modern-day New York, with Jane being a nanny for a Westchester recluse and St. John being reimagined as her crossdressing fashion designer roommate Hector.
  • 2018: My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodie Meadows. A young adult historical fantasy novel in which Jane is recruited by a ghost-hunting agency.

Re-tellings[edit]

  • 2007: Thornfield Hall: Jane Eyre's Hidden Story by Emma Tennant.
  • 2010: I am Jane Eyre by Teana Rowland. This version of Jane Eyre delves into some of the unexplained aspects of the novel.
  • 2015: Jane Eyre: My Private Autobiography by W.J. Harrison. This version of Jane Eyre works in some novel twists that fit into the original plot, such as Jane’s pursuit of Rochester and St. John’s homosexuality.

Prequels[edit]

  • 1966: Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys. The character Bertha Mason serves as the main protagonist for this novel which acts as a prequel to Jane Eyre. It describes the meeting and marriage of Antoinette Cosway (later renamed Bertha by Mr. Rochester) and Mr. Rochester. In its reshaping of events related to Jane Eyre, the novel suggests that Bertha's madness is not congenital, but rather the result of terrible childhood experiences and Mr. Rochester's unloving treatment of her. Wide Sargasso Sea has been adapted into film twice.

Spin-offs[edit]

  • 2001: The novel The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde revolves around the plot of Jane Eyre. It portrays the book as originally largely free of literary contrivance: Jane and Mr. Rochester's first meeting is a simple conversation without the dramatic horse accident, and Jane does not hear his voice calling for her and ends up starting a new life in India. The protagonist's efforts mostly accidentally change it to the real version.[78]
  • 2009: Becoming Jane Eyre by Sheila Kohler. A novel about Charlotte Brontë writing the story.[79]
  • 2009: Jane Airhead by Kay Woodward. A novel about a present-day teenage girl obsessed with Jane Eyre.[80]
  • 2012: A Breath of Eyre by Eve Marie Mont. The first novel in a series about a girl named Emma who is transported into the stories of her favorite books. In this instalment, Emma finds herself in the role of Jane Eyre, the book she is currently reading. Once there, she must choose whether to follow the plot of Jane's story or return to her own.[81]

Re-tellings from another character's point of view[edit]

  • 1966: Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys. Bertha's story beginning with her origins in the Caribbean, where she was forced to marry Rochester, and ending with her entrapment and suicide in Rochester's English home.
  • 2000: Adèle: Jane Eyre's Hidden Story by Emma Tennant
  • 2006: The French Dancer's Bastard: The Story of Adèle From Jane Eyre by Emma Tennant. This is a slightly modified version of Tennant's 2000 novel.
  • 2009: Adele, Grace, and Celine: The Other Women of Jane Eyre by Claire Moise. This both retells the story from the point of view of three other women and explains their fate after the main events of the story.[82]
  • 2010: Rochester: A Novel Inspired by Jane Eyre by J.L. Niemann. Jane Eyre told from the first-person perspective of Edward Rochester.
  • 2011: Jane Eyre's Rival: The Real Mrs Rochester by Clair Holland. Told from the perspective of Bertha Antoinetta Mason, Mr. Rochester's first wife, by Lisa Mason, Antoinetta's modern-day descendant.
  • 2011: Jane Eyre's Husband - The Life of Edward Rochester by Tara Bradley. Rochester's entire life.

Other influences[edit]

References[edit]

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