OK, time to fess up. I haven’t read Jane Eyre yet. However, I did purchase it years ago, probably when I was going through Jane Austen’s books. I remember it well. I was my first year as a teacher, a very rough year I might add, and I read both Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility with so much pleasure. I began Persuasion, but wasn’t able to finish — I know longer remember why. I purchased Emma, but haven’t read that yet, either. Actually, I think I loaned it to a student and never got it back. Never did get around to contemplating Northanger Abbey or Mansfield Park. And I call myself a Friend of Jane? Yes, I do. In fact, I’d have to say she’s one of my favorites. Anyway, I imagine I picked up a copy of Jane Eyre about that time, thinking that the Brontë sisters were close enough to Austen, if only in slightly similar time periods. Yes, I know the Brontës are much more gothic. I did enjoy Wuthering Heights in high school. I don’t remember finishing the book — not because I didn’t like it, but because I was reading so slowly and couldn’t keep up with the reading assignments in class. I still read fairly slowly, but I have come to terms with that and decided it is because I savor what I read.
Finishing The Thirteenth Tale decided it for me. I had to take that copy of Jane Eyre off the shelf (where it sat nestled between copies of Sense and Sensibility and The Turn of the Screw). It must have been in my classroom library at some point, because it has my former married name “Cooke” printed across the top of the pages in bold, black letters.
So I am about to take a sojourn to the moors, to Thornfield, to meet Jane Eyre at last. It seems to be a long book, and I don’t have much time for pleasure reading, but the end of October/beginning of November seems to me to be the perfect time to undertake this gothic classic.
Cheers to Ms. Setterfield for the inspiration.
On another note, if you are participating in NaNoWriMo, please let me know so I can make you a writing buddy. I am fairly excited about my book. I have written the opening scene in my head, but I’m being a good girl and waiting until November 1 to start.