I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself.
Summary: The spirited orphan Jane endures a loveless childhood and a brutal school – but her life changes when she is employed at the forbidding Thornfield Hall, where fires start for no reason and the corridors ring with demonic laughter.
The Perfect Drink: Lemon and ginger tea would pair wonderfully with Jane Eyre. Its combination of citrus and heat is a great match for the sharp, passionate Jane, and the warmth from the ginger will act as a delicious antidote to descriptions of the windswept Yorkshire moorland. The hot, spicy ginger is also appropriate for a book with its fair share of fires.
The Perfect Snack: We recommend an Eccles cake, dusted with crunchy sugar and eaten straight from the oven. Like Jane, it looks plain and unassuming, but bite through the crisp layers of flaky, buttery pastry and you reach a core full of citrus, spice, raisins and peel. It has heat, sweetness and spice – big, punchy flavours in a small, plain pastry shell.
The Perfect Place: Ideally you’d read Jane Eyre in Haworth, the West Yorkshire village where the Brontës lived. We used to go to Haworth every year, and the Yorkshire moors were a wonderfully atmospheric setting for our reading! The town is also a hive of second-hand bookshops – we used to collect copies of Jane Eyre (at one time we had at least 40 copies!!) and many of our favourites came from Haworth itself. If you can’t get to Yorkshire, aim to read this novel in Autumn. It contains suffering and privation, but also has warm snatches of sunshine and beauty.
As a bonus, here’s a picture of Mary and Alice aged 11 (as well as Alice’s sister, Lucy) on one of our many pilgrimages to Haworth.
How would you read Jane Eyre? Let us know in the comments below! We’d love to hear from you.