JANE EYRE LAID BARE by Charlotte Bronte


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A lit-erotic mashup of Jane Eyre.

The trend of literary mashups extends to Jane Eyre, the classical romance known for its themes of conscience vs. passion, early feminist traits, gothic elements and even sexual tension before the term was coined. The original text is contracted and then expanded with erotic passages that have Jane and Rochester experiencing sexual encounters. Much of the plot of the original story is cut, with the action taking place from Jane’s arrival at Thornfield Hall to her flight once she finds out about Rochester’s wife. While the newly added erotic scenes are well-written and adequately integrated into the storyline, it is hard to read the contemporary passages without questioning their validity. Character motivation and history are always important elements to the success of any story, and even without the iconic status of Jane Eyre, the character herself is driven to question her moral choices relative to her relationship with Rochester, a concept which doesn’t sit comfortably next to her carnal instincts and adventures in this rendition. Add to that the many pieces of the story that are alluded to in the book—her life with the Reeds, her time at Lowood—but not told, and we are left feeling that something huge is missing in the story that informs Jane’s character and which ultimately undercuts her authenticity. Some erotica readers may find this book titillating, and fans of the mashup genre may be intrigued by the attempt to create a sexually adventurous Jane Eyre. But some fans of the original may be offended by the endeavor, and others may feel that a sexually graphic derivative of the authentic version undermines the very elements of the beloved masterpiece that make it great. 

An intriguing idea for a mashup, but ultimately not a good match.

Pub Date: Oct. 30th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-250-03270-6
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 2012


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