|dramatised by Helen Jerome from the
novel by Charlotte Brontë
Directed by Valerie Clarke
October 8, 9 & 10, 2009
|St John Rivers
Scene 1: The library at Thornfield Hall. An afternoon in winter
Scene 2: The same. A morning in March
Scene 3: The same. Evening, a week later
Scene 1: The same. An evening in April, ten days later
Scene 2: The same. A morning in May
Scene 1: The living room at Moore House, Whitecross. Dusk, one year later
Scene 2: Thornfield Hall. A few days later
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Rushed into print and apparently immortality, the original manuscript of Jane Eyre was
immediately recognised by the publishers as a piece of merchandise that would move fast
and bring in a profit. To the author this success was crucial, six publishers having
rejected an earlier novel.
'Daring,' 'virile,' 'highly sensational' and even 'shocking' were the Victorian sales
adjectives they applied to it. The public reacted by clamouring for a second edition
within a few weeks.
At first, both press and public were certain that this new novelist was a man,
not a shy spinster, thirty years of age, living in the Haworth Parsonage on the edge
of the empty moors in Yorkshire. On discovering that the author was female, they were
incredulous that any reticent woman could be guilty of the revelations to be found
in this fast-selling 'improper' novel.
Today the public are still amazed by the superb achievement of Charlotte Brontė
who wrought her masterpiece in the face of poverty, isolation and the alarming ill-health
of her immediate family. Charlotte and three of her sisters were sent off to board at an
institution where two of the girls died from improper care and lack of nourishment.
On returning to Haworth, Charlotte, her two remaining sisters and her brother spent
their evenings writing and story-telling.