Monday, November 15, 2010

Review: Jane Eyre Readable Classic

Jane Eyre (Readable Classics) by Charlotte Bronte and Wayne Josephson

Publication Date: October 2009
Publisher: Readable Classics
Format: Paperback, 320 pp
Genre: Historical Fiction
ISBN-13: 9780615324449
ISBN: 0615324444

Purchase: Barnes & Noble, Book Depository,

(Received for review from the author)

Author's Website:

Excerpt: Click HERE!

About Readable Classics:

Readable Classics gently edits the works of great literature, retaining their essence and spirit, and making them more enjoyable and less frustrating to modern readers.

Synopsis (Book Blurb):

Jane Eyre, a novel of stunning power, romance and suspense, was an instant bestseller in England in 1847. It follows the spellbinding journey of a poor orphan girl who overcomes cruelty, loneliness, starvation and heartbreak on her quest for independence as a woman.

Her passionate romance with rich, brooding Mr. Rochester, and his discovery of his devastating secret, forces her to choose between love and self-respect.

Jane Eyre is the story of every woman who struggles for equality and dignity in a society that wants to deny her those rights- as true in Victorian England as it is today.


Jane Eyre was originally written in 1847 by Charlotte Bronte. As a young adult reader in high school, I first read Jane Eyre as a requirement for Sophomore English. I had a rather difficult time of it, because at that time I wasn't interested in the book as a classic, it was just something I had to read for school and it was hard to read because the language was not what I was used to. Wayne Josephson has taken Bronte's work and edited it to make it accessible to a wider reading audience. Josephson has a knack for editing just enough and in a very precise way so that the reader finds the book easier to understand and a lot more enjoyable.

This readable classic remains to true the original book in every respect. The story line is the same, the characters are the same. The only essential difference in the wording and phrasing in certain parts of the book. Jane Eyre, orphaned young woman endeavors to overcome some daunting obstacles in her life. Living with a cruel aunt, Jane faces starvation and deep loneliness. When she is sent to a boarding school she endures still further abuses and finally obtains work as a governess at Thornfield Hall, owned by the brooding Mr. Rochester. Jane falls in love with her employer only to become separated from him when she learns of his deep secret. Jane eventually finds true and abiding happiness.

Josephson understood that readers today hesitate to read some of the older classics because the language is so archaic. He has made it easier for young readers as well as a generation who neglected reading Jane Eyre because it was hard to understand. I think this was a great version of the story and I believe that Readable Classics is definitely an option for those readers in high schools who find themselves unable to become interested in the originals. My daughter also previewed the book with me and found it much easier to understand and tons more enjoyable to read.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte and Wayne Josephson is available at your favorite bookseller.

(Due to recent events in book retail, please consider carefully where you choose to purchase your books and the companies you are supporting!)

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!


Sarah Reads Too Much said...

I think I'm going to have to check this out... I am currently wanting to read more classics, but I am definitely daunted by the language in some of the books.

Anonymous said...

What a great idea! I loved Jane Eyre but I know my daughter is dreading reading it for school. I might have to track down a Readable copy. Thanks!

Elena said...

Jane Eyre is one of the few "Classics" I've read (multiple times). Love it, but I'm not sure about editing books this way. But, if it gets more people reading...