Kirkus Reviews QR Code
CHARLOTTE BRONTE AND JANE EYRE by Stewart Ross

CHARLOTTE BRONTE AND JANE EYRE

By Stewart Ross (Author) , Robert Van Nutt (Illustrator)

Age Range: 8 - 11

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-670-87486-8
Publisher: Viking

 Ross (Shakespeare and Macbeth, 1994) takes a look at Charlotte Brontâ's life and how it influenced the writing of Jane Eyre, hoping to inspire readers to tackle that novel. Lovely full-color and black-and-white illustrations bring readers powerful images of both Charlotte's and Jane's lives, which contained many similar themes, e.g., Jane Eyre's cruel experiences at Lowood School reflect Charlotte's unhappiness at the Cowan Bridge Clergy Daughters' School. In addition to the parallels between Charlotte and her fictional creation, Ross focuses on how the writer developed her craft: She read widely, indulged in ``scriblomania,'' wrote make-believe fantasies lifting herself ``out of the small world of Haworth,'' and studied with Monsieur Constantin Heger in Brussels. Ross also discusses Jane Eyre, and why it was unique when it was published (it was neither Gothic horror nor a tale of domestic manners). The insert in which that is disclosed and other inserts--on fatal diseases, Victorian England, etc.--are interesting, but also interfere with the flow of the story. Still, this is a creative approach to biography, certain to encourage readers to take longer looks at Charlotte Brontâ's novels and her life. (chronology, further reading) (Nonfiction. 8-11)