"... my soul began to expand, to exult, with the strangest sense of freedom, of triumph, I ever felt. It seemed as if an invisible bond had burst, and that I had struggled out into unhoped-for-liberty."
Jane Eyre is a novel of passion-of anger, defiance, and of overwhelming desire. No novel, before or since, has caught so precisely the complex emotions of childhood, where feelings of powerlessness can mix with rage, and a bitter sense of injustice. From the early scenes, where Jane is locked in the red room, and learns to defy her aunt, through the oppressive regime of Lowood School, we follow the turbulent swell of Jane's feelings. Her psychological struggles with Rochester, her Byronic employer, and St John Rivers, her icy cousin, carry through the passionate contradictions of childhood. Drawing on feminist and post-colonial theory, and Victorian medical writings on the female mind and body, this edition places Jane Eyre firmly within the context of nineteenth-century social and political culture.