Have you ever watched the C4 comedy Spaced? If not you should; firstly it is a fantastic comedy and secondly it has so many references to other television programs and films that just enhance it every time I watch it. Okay I know what you’re thinking - the title of this blog post is ‘Jane Eyre’ and so far this has been about a comedy series that was written over a decade ago*... Don’t worry, hopefully it will all make sense soon.
The link is references, I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately, one of the books I’ve just finished is Jasper Fforde’s ‘The Eyre Affair’. It is a book that is so full of references - everything from books through to the Monopoly board, which just enhance the book at every page turn, much like Spaced.
Which leads me into Jane Eyre... I haven’t read it. Well that’s not quite the truth, I’ve just started reading it. I felt that I was missing out of quite a lot of references whilst reading The Eyre Affair in which the main character chases a criminal through the story of Jane Eyre, so decided to give Jane Eyre a read to get a couple more jokes in Fforde’s book.
To be honest I didn’t really think I would enjoy it, period drama has rarely been something that appealed to me and that pretty much put me off the idea of reading anything like Jane Eyre! However, I am really really enjoying reading it, I’ve reached the 10th chapter pretty quickly, and am really looking forward to picking it up again!
It’s written from the point of view of Jane Eyre as she recalls her life. It opens with her upbringing in the house of her Aunt who provides a house for her out of duty rather than any form of love and her cousins who treat her cruelly. Then the story moves on into the excitement as Jane manages to get out into a boarding school which doesn’t live up to idea she has in her mind.
The book is a real emotional ride; Brontë really lets you get into the Jane’s emotions as she shares what happens in the narrative and makes you really get behind Jane’s character. You really feel for her as she it abused by her Aunt and cousins, in the excitement she leaves to study at the Lowood Institution, as she is shamed in-front of the whole school by the man who runs the school and in the joy as she is cleared of the accusations, (I could go on, however spoilers!). The emotions have really gone all over the place.
Another thing I love about it is the huge number of topics and themes it has touched on already in the first ten chapters. We’ve had everything from social class through to religion or morality through to finding belonging and family. It is a really exciting and challenging book.
I started reading this book in an effort to try and get more of the jokes within The Eyre Affair, while doing that I’ve found a book that I am really enjoying reading and would encourage you to give it a read too.
* Yes that made me feel very old. I hope it made you feel old too.