Classic of the week: A Bronte Christmas

Evening Post, 22 Dec 2005

Jane Eyre Charlotte Bronte, Oxford World's Classics, £5.99

There's one upside to a miserable Christmas ... it makes an ideal time to start on Charlotte Bronte’s masterpiece. We begin in grim November, with plain, quiet Jane an unwanted spare part at the house of her merciless aunt. We hear her loneliness as the family crow over their presents the next month. And then we set off on a social trajectory her Victorian readers must have found shocking: through a grim school to a rackety job as a governess, to romance with her irresistible thug of an employer. It's the template for several thousand romantic novels, but the original remains compelling, fresh and strange.