Jane Eyre -Charlotte Brontë

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Jane Eyre was written by the English writer, Charlotte Brontë in 1847. This classic novel was written and takes place in the Victorian era, and it explores many topics that were relevant, especially to women living during that time—marriage, social status, class, sexuality, religion, and the role of women in Victorian society. Download a copy of our Jane Eyre PDF to explore this fascinating world and see life through the eyes of Jane herself.

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Yes, it is! Jane Eyre was published in 1847 so it is in the public domain. It is, therefore, free to download. We hope you enjoy it!

Jane Eyre Summary – What Is The Basic Story Of Jane Eyre?

Jane Eyre is orphaned as a young girl after her parents die of typhus. She is in the care of her aunt, Mrs. Sarah Reed. Mrs. Reed is cold and cruel and treats Jane badly. Jane finds a friend in her aunt’s servant, Bessie who treats her well and is her only friend in the household.

One day, after a fight with her cousin, Mrs. Reed locks Jane in the “red room”. The red room is the room that her uncle died in. While locked in the room Jane thinks that she sees her uncle’s ghost. She is terrified and faints in fear. When she wakes up, Bessie is beside her along with Mr. Lloyd, a kind man who tends to her as she recovers. Mr. Lloyd speaks to Mrs. Reed and suggests that Jane should be sent away to boarding school rather than stay at home with the family. Mrs. Reed agrees and Jane is overjoyed that she will be leaving.

Jane goes to live at Lowood School which is a school for poor and orphaned girls. Jane quickly finds out that life isn’t as good as she had hoped. The school is run by a cruel, abusive headmaster named Mr. Brockelhurst. Mr. Brockelhurst and his family live in the lap of luxury while the girls at the school have to sleep in cold rooms with thin clothing all the while eating poor meals. As a result, many of the girls fall ill because of the terrible living conditions.

While at Lowood school Jane becomes friends with Helen Burns, a girl who also ultimately dies in Jane’s arms when a typhus epidemic sweeps through the school. After the epidemic, Mr. Brockelhurst and the terrible living conditions at Lowood are investigated and a management committee is put in place to make sure that the living conditions improve. After the improvements, Jane’s life becomes a lot better and she spends 8 years at Lowood, six as a student and two more as a teacher.

After teaching for two years, Jane becomes bored and longs for a new life. She places an ad in a local newspaper and is hired as a governess at Thornfield Hall taking care of Adèle Varens, a young French girl. Jane learns that Adéle was abandoned by her mother and is now in the care of Edward Rochester, the master of Thornfield Hall. Jane finds herself falling in love with Edward Rochester and becomes jealous when he introduces her to Blanche Ingram, a beautiful woman whom Jane doesn’t like very much.

Jane is convinced that Edward wants to marry Blanche Ingram. One night, after Edward teases her by saying that he will miss her after he is married, Jane confesses her feelings for him. To her surprise, Edward proposes to her, and although initially skeptical, she accepts his proposal.

On their wedding day, a man by the name of Mr. Mason interrupts their wedding saying that Edward cannot marry Jane because he is already married to his sister, a woman by the name of Bertha. Edward does not deny his marriage to Bertha but explains how he was tricked into the marriage and only afterward finds out that Bertha was descending quickly into madness. He explains how he keeps Bertha hidden at Lockfield Hall with a nurse to care for her.

The marriage ceremony is called off but Edward asks Jane to run away with him to France where they can live as husband and wife. Jane however refuses because she wants to stay true to her Christian beliefs. values and principles. She runs away and is soon homeless. She becomes sick and is taken in by The Rivers Family who nurses her back to health.

After getting better, Jane finds out that she has inherited her uncle, John Eyer’s estate. She also finds out that The Rivers family are in fact her cousins and she decides to share her fortune with them. Her cousin, St John Rivers, asks Jane to marry him and join him in his missionary work overseas. Jane almost accepts his proposal but decides against it after hearing Edward Rochester calling her.

She goes back to Thornfield where she finds the Thornfield Hall estate burned to the ground and in ruins. She finds out that Bertha had set the house on fire and had died after jumping off the roof. She also learns that while trying to save the servants Edward had lost his eyesight and one of his hands.

Jane travels to his new home, Ferndean, where they are reunited and get married soon afterward. Edward regains his sight in one of his eyes and the novel ends with them being very happily married with children of their own.

Jane Eyre Q&A

What Is The Age Difference Between Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester?

In Jane Eyre, the book tells us that Jane is around nineteen years old. Mr. Rochester is somewhere between 35 and 40 years old giving them an age difference of about 15 to 20 years.

How Much Did Jane Eyre Inherit In Today’s Money?

Jane inherited 20,000 pounds from her uncle John Eyre. In today’s money, it would be equal to about $2,000,000. Jane however decides to split her inheritance with the Rivers family who she discovers are her cousins.

Does Mr. Rochester Have A Daughter?

Adéle Varens is the daughter of Céline Varens, Mr. Rochester’s mistress when he lived in France. Mr. Rochester broke ties with Céline when he found out that she was cheating on him. In the story, Céline claims that Adéle is Edward’s daughter but this is never confirmed. We are however told that Adéle was abandoned by her mother and that she is now under Edward Rochester’s care.

What Illness Did Bertha Mason Have?

In Jane Eyre, Bertha’s illness is described as progressive and it is mentioned that there was a family history of the illness. In a study done by the National Library of Medicine where the authors of the study studied the descriptions of Bertha’s behavior, they concluded that she could have had Huntington’s disease.

Huntington’s disease is a rare, inherited disease that causes the progressive breakdown (degeneration) of nerve cells in the brain. Huntington’s disease has a broad impact on a person’s functional abilities and usually results in movement, thinking (cognitive) and psychiatric disorders.

Huntington’s disease symptoms can develop at any time, but they often first appear when people are in their 30s or 40s. If the condition develops before age 20, it’s called juvenile Huntington’s disease. When Huntington’s develops early, symptoms are somewhat different and the disease may progress faster.

Medications are available to help manage the symptoms of Huntington’s disease. But treatments can’t prevent the physical, mental and behavioral decline associated with the condition.

Mayo Clinic | Huntington’s Disease

What Happened To Bertha In Jane Eyre?

After Jane rejects St John Rivers’s marriage proposal she travels back to Thornfield Hall where she learns that Bertha had set the manor on fire. Bertha then killed herself by jumping off the roof.

How Many Jane Eyre Movies Are There?

There have been over 20 Jane Eyre movies made so far. The first was a silent film that was released in 1910.

What Is The Best Movie Version Of Jane Eyre?

Most people agree that the Jane Eyre movie made in 2011 is the best movie adaptation so far. It received positive reviews from both the critics and the public alike. It was directed by Cary Fukunaga and stars Mia Wasikowska as Jane and Michael Fassbender as Edward Rochester. The movie begins with Jane running away from Thornfield Hall with the rest of the story being told in the form of flashbacks to her past.

Jane Eyre – Official Trailer (2011)


Jane Eyre is a timeless classic that explores the life and struggles of women in the Victorian era. You can download a copy of our Jane Eyre PDF here to relive this magical story.