History of the Text
Jane Eyre’s Reception and Publication History: Jane Eyre was very popular among the general public, selling to great success and going through three editions within a decade of its initial publication. However, it also faced criticism from many reviewers and critics as improper and scandalous.
- Victorian era values: Brontë wrote Jane Eyre during the Victorian period (1837–1901), an era known for extremely strict, conservative social rules. For gender roles, this was the time of “separate spheres” between men and women, in which men occupied the public sphere and women occupied the domestic sphere. Much of the criticism for Jane Eyre when it was released came from the novel’s self-willed heroine, who moreover marries a man previously married. This was fairly controversial for the time.
- Brontë’s pen name: As it was not socially typical or encouraged that women author books, women who wrote often published under a male pseudonym. In the case of Jane Eyre, the book was published under Brontë’s male pseudonym, “Currer Bell.” It was not until a decade after the initial publication of Jane Eyre that Brontë would begin to go public with...
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