Posted by: montclairlibrary | March 26, 2014

Eyre apparent

Reading Jane Eyre.  Photo by Easa Shamih under Creative Commons.

Reading Jane Eyre. Photo by Easa Shamih under Creative Commons.

I just finished re-reading Jane Eyre for my book club, which got me thinking about all the clever ways Charlotte Brontë’s 1847 book has been repurposed and reimagined over the years.

Of course you can find the original book in the Montclair Classics section, as well as various other editions throughout the OPL system, and several movie versions.

But for a different take on the story, try Margot Livesey’s The Flight of Gemma Hardy, which moves the action to 1960s Scotland, or Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys (not at Montclair), which imagines the backstory of the “madwoman in the attic.” (By the way, FOML currently has a donated copy of Wide Sargasso Sea for sale on, with all proceeds going to the library.)

For something completely different, The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde (also available as an audiobook) drops book-hopping literary detective Thursday Next into the pages of Jane Eyre to figure out who is kidnapping characters from works of literature.

In Jane, the Fox, and Me, a graphic novel by Fanny Britt (not at Montclair), a lonely girl identifies with Jane Eyre.

Brontë apparently drew much of the story of Jane Eyre from experiences in her own life or her siblings’. Becoming Jane Eyre by Sheila Kohler (not at Montclair), biographical fiction about the Brontës, explores the connections.

And finally, in the vein (so to speak) of genre-bending books like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies there’s Jane Slayre: The Literary Classic with a Blood-Sucking Twist by Sherri Browning Erwin (not at Montclair – also available as an audiobook), in which Jane is a vampire slayer and Rochester’s wife is a werewolf. Yikes!

What’s your favorite riff on a classic novel?

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