Septemb-Eyre: Introduction

So yesterday started the beginning of September and thus the beginning of my epic re-read of Jane Eyre. I’m reading it with what seems to be a great group of fellow bloggers/reviewers/book fans who have congregated over at Entomology of a Bookworm for the Septemb-Eyre (great name, right?) read-along of Jane Eyre.

A bit about me: I have an English education degree and a masters in library science. I taught English for 2 years at a maximum security juvenile prison before deciding to stay home with my daughter. I’ve always loved to read and try to read as much as I can. I’m not the world’s fastest reader, but I get the job done and I enjoy myself while doing it! You can find me on my blog The Bookish Girl Reads On. It’s a new creation. I’ve been wanting a place to talk about what I’ve read and finally found the time and the format to do that!

I have a couple editions of Jane Eyre that I’ll be reading from, but this will be my primary one. It’s cute, right?

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This will be my second reading of Jane Eyre. I read it my junior year in college in a Brontes class. That’s right, be jealous, nerds: I took a class that was ONLY focused on the Bronte sisters. I read a selection of juvenilia, poetry, and ALL the Bronte sister novels (ok, that’s a tiny white lie, I really struggled with Villette and didn’t actually finish it…) They are a fascinating bunch of literary gals, and I got to read some wonderful literature. I enjoyed the class (one of the best professors in the department), but I also remember being really overwhelmed through a lot of it. It was a graduate level class (I was a lowly undergrad) and I think we were reading roughly one novel a week (2 weeks for the really long ones). That’s a lot of reading when you also have huge reading loads in your other lit classes the same semester. I’m really looking forward to re-reading this book in a more relaxed atmosphere where I can read it for me. I don’t have to worry about class discussion, professor expectations, or my end-of-semester paper (I wrote about Rochester form Jane Eyre and Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights as Byronic heroes if anyone cares).

The lasting impressions I remember from reading this book the first time around was that I really liked it except for a really boring stretch after the halfway point (hopefully it won’t have the same numbing effect on me this time). I also remember getting a major fangirl crush on Rochester (after reading Jane Eyre I reeeeaaaallly don’t get the hype of Mr. Darcy. Rochester would eat him for breakfast). I also remember that the ending was so full of interesting questions that I would have loved to ask and try to answer had I more time and control of the class’ discussion (issues about equality leading to marriage and when is a couple truly equal and was Bronte making a point on this or am I crazy?) I hope I’ve got you hooked for my wrap-up post 🙂

Anyway, I’ve been dying to reread this book, particularly after the film adaptation from a few years ago. I was ticked with the ending of the movie and thought the actress playing Jane was too pretty…I need to re-watch it after a more recent reading to see if I was right.

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15 thoughts on “Septemb-Eyre: Introduction

  1. Hallo, Hallo Alison!

    I am a fellow Septemb-Eyre girl (as I noted a bloke hasn’t joined us yet!) who wanted to try to visit all of the lovely blogs that are a part of this event! However, the hours are waning away from me and I will have to shortly resume this on the morrow! Your blog is one of my last two stops for the day! 🙂 I am finding such a warm reception and such hearty readers! Most of whom are already members of tCC!!! Which is keen, as I will be too, come January! 🙂

    You might want to scope out the library love badges that are peppered throughout my blog and snag a few for yourself! I noted that you studied library science! 🙂 I am a newbie to reading Jane Eyre, but I had a rather interesting introduction to Jane Eyre actually!! I spilt it out in my Intro Post! I love that we’re not only a mixture of different sorts of bookish bloggers, but we each have approached this read-a-long with a different starting point towards our appreciation of Eyre! Its a lovely little collective group!!

    Hmm, Rochester vs. Heathcliff — I wonder what your cross-references included!? You can always e me privately, as I accidentally caught the last half act of Wuthering Heights on TCM! Its going to be a book I read when I get my tCC list going!! I can imagine the pressure you were under, and I am thankful I was saved that quandary of a nightmare! Both for reading AND writing! You can sit back and soak into the story now without any preconceptions or expectations! The perfect set-up for reading bliss!!

    Ooh, now you see I hold equal affection for both Mr. Darcy AND for Rochester,.. am I really the only one who does!? Hmm,… this came up earlier in the day,..

    Will you be posting on Mondays!? I’d love to see your impressions as you re-read this, as I will be reading it for the first time!

    • I LOVE Wuthering Heights! It is one of the great tragedies of literature that Emily Bronte did not live to write more. Which Wuthering Heights did you catch the end of? The newest adaptation was good but didn’t go all the way to the end of the story.

      I do love Mr. Darcy (I’ve got the t-shirt to prove it), but Rochester just seemed so much more…I dunno…dark, manly, and all. Darcy was kinda sensitive? Pride and Prejudice is another I definitely need to reread. It’ll be interesting to see if I still feel this way after a re-read.

      I hope to post on Mondays at the latest.

      • Ooh, my goodness! I’ve lost the comment I was composing!

        Dear Alison,

        I was being ruminative about which adaptation I had caught the ending scenes of, as I know not the year nor recollect any of the actors who were on camera at the time my telly entered the scene! I do remember vaguely a bit of the house and of the scene I was watching, so perhaps if I were to joggle out my memory by way of going through the archives of TCM, I could sort out which adaptation it was!?

        I have not seen any other variation of this story, much less had the chance to see the modern adaptations! I tend to be a classic film enthusiast, and moreso than naught, I adore *catching!* a new film on TCM! My parents gifted me the Now Playing Guide this year, renewing each Winter, which I am forever grateful! I was meant to read and watch classic noir mysteries, but unfortunately my June played out so wreckingly, I celebrated at least to see Gatsby on the silver screen!

        I am not as keen to know all the memorabilia that is available although, being an etsy girl and having just come out of Austen in August, I am getting a proper sense of ‘what could be’ out there!! The t-shirt declaration of admiration for Darcy is a new one! Is it a silk screen print!?

        Yes!! That’s it, isn’t it!? Darcy had a sensitive heart intermixed with a proud soul! Hmm,… I am within hours of posting my recollections of my second reading of Pride ,.. I shall alert you once it is active!

        Ahh, Monday,.. I think we all shall be properly glued to our computer screens,… laughs smirkingly.

    • You’ve got me wondering exactly what I wrote in my paper. I was about 6 years ago…I might need to go dig it out. I think it was mostly just a discussion of the 2 characters as Byronic heroes and something about the rewards they were trying to attain…I need to get refreshed.

      • If you do uncover it, I am now more intrigued than ever in knowing what you wrote on Darcy + Rochester! Speaking of the former, I am at the cross-roads where young daft Lydia has eloped off with Wickham! Sighs. I had forgotten the bits in-between Roslings + Derbyshire (I do hope these bits will not spoil anything for those who have not yet read &/or watched an adaptation!),… and I found myself wholly enthused by what I was reading! (as pertaining directly to Elizabeth + Darcy!)

  2. Ok, you have me TOTALLY hooked for the wrap-up post… and very intrigued as to what’s to come in this book. I’m going in relatively blind, having no idea what the book is about or what happens, so I’m excited to watch it unfold!

  3. Wow, a whole class on the Bronte’s, the newbie to Classics in me is in love with that idea. I can’t wait for your wrap-up post, and to get reading now!

  4. Alison,

    I was reading your comment over on “The Wandering Bookmark” – Kwame’s blog, where you were hoping to read Wide Sargasso Sea after you read Jane Eyre!? Would you like to read it along with me? I have it scheduled to read as part of my Books of Eyre!! I am reading Jane Eyre as a dual reading experience for both events! I wanted to start with the original before proceeding into the collection of books I uncovered!! I am hopeful to make quite a dent into what I found, so that next year, if Books of Eyre is hosted again, I can make enroads on the list of ‘after the canons’ our dear Charlene has uncovered over on her blog “Bookish Whimsy”!! 🙂

  5. “Rochester would eat [Darcy] for breakfast.” – I LOLed at this! Now I know no matter what happens I must finish Jane Eyre! *pats Mr Darcy reassuringly on the head* 😆

    And, yes, I’m very much looking forward to your wrap-up post 😀

  6. A whole class on the Brontës! I’m also jealous. Although I tried Anne for the first time this year (Agnes Grey), and was a bit disappointed. Maybe someday I’ll give Wildfell Hall a shot.

  7. Hello, I’m doing Septemb-Eyre as well 🙂 It’s a first time read for me, and I’ve never seen any adaptations of it, but I have heard mixed reviews about the latest film, so I will also be watching it after I finish the book. I look forward to reading all your thoughts along the way! After your intensive Brontë Lit class I’m sure you have lots of interesting things to share 😉 Happy re-reading!

  8. Well I am so jealous that you took a Bronte class! I wasn’t an English major (science) but I so would have taken a class like that if I could have in college. Just so I can talk more about Jane Eyre with people. Seriously I used to go to my campus bookstore and peruse the English lit section to see if a class had Jane Eyre as required reading. 😀 So happy that you are one of those sensible people who thinks Mr. Rochester trumps Darcy too – totally agree! I think Villette is a very interesting read as well – I sort of think of it as Jane Eyre but way more depressing. I look forward to reading your Janian updates!

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