Imagine If Jane Eyre Had Been Written By Edward Rochester!

Edward Rochester

The Memoirs Of Edward RochesterThe Memoirs of Edward Rochester. Imagine being able to look into the mind of one of the leading male character in the classic book, Jane Eyre. Charlotte Bronte published her classic work in 1847. Jane Eyre quickly became a top seller with its moodiness and mystery. The shock revelation two thirds of the way through the story is epic, and still astounds people today who do not know the plot.

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UK Paperback Here

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Edward Rochester

Edward Rochester is not your common hero in a novel. In fact he is hardly a hero at all.

Rochester is rude and obnoxious to all people who cross his path. The idea that he could woo a poor young orphan girl is quite ridiculous. He is prepared to throw away common morality and custom in his quest to win over Jane Eyre.

This is very hard to understand, even for many modern readers. Despite this, Charlotte Bronte manages to achieve this feat smoothly and cleverly through strong characters and a great story. Bronte was quite brilliant in her writing of her original and unique, classic novel.

But the story is told in the first person of Jane Eyre herself. This works very well and the book is completely coherent as it stands. But many readers are left wondering about the thoughts of the mysterious and strange Edward Rochester. How did he become the man we find in the pages of Jane Eyre? Further, how can he justify his behaviour?

Some of the dialogue In Jane Eyre is hard to comprehend for some readers, because you can’t imagine Rochester’s point of view and his frame of reference. How could he say some of the things he says and yet still profess to love Jane? The Memoirs of Edward Rochester attempts to answer these questions by writing in the first person from his point of view.

You can see into his mind and know what he is thinking. Many scenes have Rochester giving a running commentary to the major conversations with Jane.

This book is written mainly in diary form. It explains the backdrop of Rochester’s life and how he came to be as he is in the story. There are numerous new scenes that help to explain how he thinks and behaves as a person. Many of Bronte’s original scenes are re-written but with a new twist.

For fans of the original novel, Jane Eyre, this book will fill in many of the gaps that Charlotte Bronte left in the story. You will see why Edward Rochester said the words he said and why he said them. More than this you will believe in the original story even more. It will make more sense to you.

For casual readers and literature students alike, this is a valuable resource to better understanding Charlotte Bronte’s original work. You will understand the sweep of the story and the changes in Jane Eyre and Edward Rochester more.

Order The Memoirs Of Edward Rochester on Kindle Here

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Edward Rochester

The Memoirs Of Edward RochesterThe Memoirs of Edward Rochester. Imagine being able to look into the mind of one of the leading male character in the classic book, Jane Eyre. Charlotte Bronte published her classic work in 1847. Jane Eyre quickly became a top seller with its moodiness and mystery. The shock revelation two thirds of the way through the story is epic, and still astounds people today who do not know the plot.

US Paperback Here

US Kindle Edition

UK Paperback Here

UK Kindle Edition

Edward Rochester

Edward Rochester is not your common hero in a novel. In fact he is hardly a hero at all.

Rochester is rude and obnoxious to all people who cross his path. The idea that he could woo a poor young orphan girl is quite ridiculous. He is prepared to throw away common morality and custom in his quest to win over Jane Eyre.

This is very hard to understand, even for many modern readers. Despite this, Charlotte Bronte manages to achieve this feat smoothly and cleverly through strong characters and a great story. Bronte was quite brilliant in her writing of her original and unique, classic novel.

But the story is told in the first person of Jane Eyre herself. This works very well and the book is completely coherent as it stands. But many readers are left wondering about the thoughts of the mysterious and strange Edward Rochester. How did he become the man we find in the pages of Jane Eyre? Further, how can he justify his behaviour?

Some of the dialogue In Jane Eyre is hard to comprehend for some readers, because you can’t imagine Rochester’s point of view and his frame of reference. How could he say some of the things he says and yet still profess to love Jane? The Memoirs of Edward Rochester attempts to answer these questions by writing in the first person from his point of view.

You can see into his mind and know what he is thinking. Many scenes have Rochester giving a running commentary to the major conversations with Jane.

This book is written mainly in diary form. It explains the backdrop of Rochester’s life and how he came to be as he is in the story. There are numerous new scenes that help to explain how he thinks and behaves as a person. Many of Bronte’s original scenes are re-written but with a new twist.

For fans of the original novel, Jane Eyre, this book will fill in many of the gaps that Charlotte Bronte left in the story. You will see why Edward Rochester said the words he said and why he said them. More than this you will believe in the original story even more. It will make more sense to you.

For casual readers and literature students alike, this is a valuable resource to better understanding Charlotte Bronte’s original work. You will understand the sweep of the story and the changes in Jane Eyre and Edward Rochester more.

Order The Memoirs Of Edward Rochester on Kindle Here

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You’ve Read The Book, Seen The Movie, Now The Interview!

Ken Jones InterviewInterview with Ken Jones, Author of The Memoirs Of Edward Rochester. This short interview (13 minutes) with Alan Petersen was recorded for the website Fictive Universe.

Ken talks about how he came to write the novel and where the idea came from. He also talks about how he writes and about his next book.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

If you prefer to download the interview you can do so HERE (Some computers require Right click and “Save Link As”

See The Memoirs Of Edward Rochester on the US Kindle Store Here

See The Memoirs Of Edward Rochester on the UK Kindle Store Here

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Mr. Rochester vs. Colonel Brandon

Mr. Rochester vs Colonel BrandonMr. Rochester and Colonel Brandon are two of the most popular men in classic Literature. They are seen as romantic heroes who persist in their affections until they marry the girl they have fallen in love with. But both of them have a dark past. It is this mystery that offers much of the attraction of the characters for modern day readers.

Similarities between Mr. Rochester and Colonel Brandon

Both men are in their thirties and have had relationships with women before. In the case of Mr Rochester, he was forced to accept an arranged marriage to Bertha Antoinette Mason. This was engineered by Mr. Rochester Senior and Bertha’s Father. Mr. Rochester’s marriage was a failure from day one due to the mental health problems of the unfortunate Bertha. Mr. Rochester had to raise his orphaned ward Adele.

Colonel Brandon had been devoted to Eliza some years previous to the events of Sense and Sensibility. He was not allowed to marry her and instead his brother married Eliza. She divorced Colonel Brandon’s brother and disappeared. The Colonel found her some time later dying from consumption and with a daughter of three years age. Colonel Brandon raised this girl as his own daughter.

From just this very brief overview you can see the similarities of the two men. They both had pasts that made them emotionally damaged and vulnerable.

Differences between Mr. Rochester and Colonel Brandon

Their backgrounds are quite different although when we first meet them in their respective stories this is not obvious. Mr. Rochester is a businessman with plantations in Jamaica and farms in Yorkshire, England. One presumes that the Jamaican  business was for growing coffee and sugar which occupied much of the Island at that time. Edward Rochester was wealthy from this business as well as from his inheritance of the family fortune.

Colonel Brandon was a retired military man having been in the East Indies on duty. Sense and Sensibility does not clarify his involvement in action on the front line. His being a Colonel would mean that he bought his way up the ranks. It is highly unlikely that a regular soldier would achieve this rank through progressive promotions.

The Characters of Mr. Rochester and Colonel Brandon

Edward Rochester is loud and brash; Colonel Brandon is quiet and reserved. They are completely different in nature. Throughout Jane Eyre there are many examples of Mr. Rochester’s unpleasant and rough nature. This is particularly seen with his ward Adele. He seems unreasonably rude and harsh with her. Even with Jane Eyre herself he hardly tries to endear himself to her even though he is drawn to her from their first meeting. He mellows to some degree in the narrative but his sharp tongue and his acerbic nature remain all the way through Jane Eyre.

Colonel Brandon is quite the opposite. He is a quiet, intelligent man who seems to have secrets in his past he would rather not talk about. He is polite and considerate. He thinks before he speaks and obeys the rules of etiquette and decorum fully. The problem for Colonel Brandon is that he is too nice and pleasant and fails to make his way in life because of this. His constant and honest devotion to Marianne does win him his bride in the end, because his goodness of character and genuineness in devotion is recognised by her.

Both of the marriages between Mr. Rochester and Jane Eyre, and Colonel Brandon and Marianne Dashwood are unpredictable alliances. The men are in their thirties and the girls are late teenagers. This age difference is very common in classic literature with the most famous one being Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy.

It seems that most girls were expected to be married by the age of twenty five. Anne Elliot in “Persuasion” was considered too old to find a husband at 29 years. Men however could marry at any age.

Both of the marriages were of couples in love. This was not a requirement in the early 19th century. Money and family honour were the first considerations in finding a spouse. When a couple found love and respect in a marriage, that was merely good fortune. In the cases of both Colonel Brandon and Edward Rochester they married for love, eventually!

Mr. Rochester vs. Colonel Brandon

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Edward Rochester – The Dishonest Hero of Jane Eyre

Edward Rochester - Toby StevensEdward Rochester is almost the opposite of a hero. At first reading he has little to commend himself to anyone. No morals, no social graces, no sense of what is right and wrong, and a bad habit of not telling the truth. In short Mr. Rochester is a liar.

But whilst this last claim is unavoidable many of his other faults can be overlooked. They might even be doubted when you read the conversations between Jane Eyre and him. There seems to be a positive aspect to his character that is brought out of him by the company of Jane. But it is inescapable that he is dishonest throughout the book until the redemptive ending when he at last is forced to be true in speech and deed.

The Biggest Lie in Jane Eyre

The biggest lie in Jane Eyre is of course hiding the existence of his wife Bertha. She has been his wife for fifteen years and lives in a wing of his house, Thornfield Hall. Because she is insane Mr. Rochester has hidden her away to be looked after by a nurse, Grace Poole. Her identity however is not known to the staff and household of Thornfield Hall.

More important than this is that Edward Rochester continues his wooing of Jane in spite of the fact of his wife still being alive. This is a lie of omission and a serious one at that. In his explanation after the failed wedding he says that he wanted to tell Jane about Bertha but was afraid that Jane would reject him. Jane Eyre says this is exactly what she would have done and that she would have been right to do so.

Other Examples of Edward Rochester’s Lies

When Jane rescues Rochester from his bed being in flames, Rochester allows Jane Eyre to believe her guess, that Grace Poole was the cause of the fire. This is another case of lying by omission. I think there is some evidence that Rochester wanted to share his secret with Jane but held back for fear of losing her company. At this point of the story they were not romantically connected in any way. Having said this there is an obvious mutual affection and respect between them by this time.

The strangest example of Edward Rochester’s dishonesty is when he dresses himself up as a gypsy fortune teller. His aim is to try and find out whether Jane Eyre has any feelings for him. He also uses the ruse to upset Blanch Ingram and make her cooler about a possible marriage for her with Rochester.

The Fortune teller episode reveals just how devious and underhand Mr. Rochester is. It also shows his determination to win over Jane Eyre no matter what methods he might have to use.

There are numerous other examples of this dishonesty in the book Jane Eyre. One wonders how Edward Rochester ever managed to live with himself and all his double speak. The most amazing thing is that he did win Jane’s hand eventually. This was not until after the tragic events surrounding the burning down of Thornfield Hall.

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Jane Eyre – The Story Behind The Story – Video

There are many interpretations of Jane Eyre. These mostly try to see Jane Eyre as an independant and strong woman. There are also parallels between Bertha and Jane that are discussed in the video. I personallly think that the story is much simpler than most commentators allow.
It is an unlikely love story and that is what Charlotte Bronte enjoyed in writing the book.

Readers of Charlotte Bronte’s book Villette will also read of unlikely pairings and love. This is something that interests Charlotte Bronte and both these book have unlikely heroes for the lead man.
Mr. Rochester is an overwhelming man and it is hard to see what Jane Falls in love with at first. As the character of Mr. Rochester is opened up you begin to see what Jane is attracted to. Mr. Rochester’s apology to Jane is their second evening conversation is the first time that Jane Sees a differewnt side to Edward Rochester. She has never in her life been treated as an equal. Mr. Rochester treats Jane as a like mind with him. This is what begins the close relationship between them.

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Who Is Jane Eyre?

Who is Jane EyreWho is Jane Eyre? Jane Eyre was an orphan, typical of many in the days of the 1800s.  Although she is a fictional character in the Charlotte Bronte novel, Jane Eyre, her plight was all too common.

Jane Eyre’s mother was Jane Reid who was from a wealthy family who lived in Gateshead, England.  She was disowned by her family because she fell in love with a Clergyman who was poor.  When she married, her family refused to know her.

Times were harsh in those days but as a family, they were happy. Jane’s father was one of three children. He had a brother John who became a merchant in Madeira and a sister who also later married and had children of her own. John Eyre features to a small degree in Jane Eyre as it is he who leaves his fortune to Jane.

Jane’s parents lived their lives in their community looking after the people in their parish.  In time they had a child, a baby girl whom they named Jane. However, the story changed for Jane as while she was still an infant, both her parents died suddenly.

Who Is Jane Eyre?

It was then that her life started to change. Her mother’s brother, who had opposed the family disowning his sister, sent for the baby and meant to love her and rear her as his own in his family home with his wife and three children.

However, he also took ill and died but before his death he made his wife promise to care for his niece Jane Eyre as their own children.  However, Mrs. Reid disliked Jane Eyre and after ten years sought to send her to a charity school for poor children. Here Jane was expected to obtain an education of sorts and become useful in service to others.

It was never intended by Mrs. Reid that Jane would have a happy or successful life. She just wanted to put her away where she would not bother her anymore.

However, in time, Jane finished her education and became a governess to Mr. Rochester’s ward. She worked hard and later took her place in society, but not before many up and downs in her life that were no fault of her own, but the result of her interaction with her family and others with whom she came into contact. Through the eyes of Jane Eyre we get to see a glimpse of society as it was in the 1800s and how Society and the poor fared in their private lives and in the business world of the day.

The second part of Jane Eyre covers her growing love of Mr. Rochester. Mr. Rochester is not quite what he seems however. The revelation that his first wife is still alive and living in Thornfield Hall devastates Jane and she leaves Mr. Rochester.

She eventually returns about a year later having mysteriously heard the call of the now stricken Mr. Rochester. They marry quietly and have a son together.

Who Is Jane Eyre?

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The Women Of Jane Eyre – Video

The Women Of Jane Eyre

The Women Of Jane EyreJane is one of a huge cast of women in Charlotte Bronte’s book. These women contrast hugely in character and ambitions. The women of Jane Eyre serve to contrast their characters against that of the heroine. So who do we have.

Jane Eyre – The heroine of the story and ever present due to the fact that Jane Eyre is written in the first person. The whole story is seen through her eyes. You see her move from being a poor and downtrodden orphan to become a strong and self sufficient young woman.

Mrs Reed – The Hated aunt who brought Jane up for the first nine years of her life.

Miss Temple – The teacher who was sympathetic towards Jane and viewed her as different to the other girls.

Helen Burns – Jane’s childhood friend who also stands out from the rest of the pupils. She tragically died of typhus aged 11.

Mrs Fairfax – The housekeeper of Thornfield Hall. Sometimes seen as a strong matron character, other times seen as weak and lacking in energy.

Bertha – The wife who haunts the life and existence of Edward Rochester

Blanche Ingram – The perfect women in the eyes of 19th century society. Shown to be beautiful and a bit boring.

The Rivers sisters – Two sisters of Mr St. John Rivers who are learned and intelligent but with no opportunity in life. This is changed when Jane Eyre inherits her fortune.

Adele Varens – The ward of Mr Rochester. The daughter of Celine Varens who was one of Edward Rochester’s lovers.

Sophie – Adele’s nurse. Ever present with Adele but little more said about her in Jane Eyre.

The Women Of Jane Eyre

The Women Of Jane Eyre.

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Jane Eyre Summary – Video

This very short video gives you a good idea of the main themes in Jane Eyre. A Jane Eyre Summary is usually a boring list of events. This video does a better job of telling you about the tensions in the book and in particular the tensions between Mr Rochester and Jane Eyre.

Jane Eyre Summary

With thanks to the 60 second recap team.

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Jane Eyre Quotes – 4 – I am your plain, Quakerish governess.

Jane Eyre QuotesJane Eyre Quotes “I am your plain, Quakerish governess.”

“Oh, sir! – never mind jewels! I don’t like to hear them spoken of. Jewels for Jane Eyre sounds unnatural and strange: I would rather not have them.”

“I will myself put the diamond chain round your neck, and the circlet on your forehead, – which it will become: for nature, at least, has stamped her patent of nobility on this brow, Jane; and I will clasp the bracelets on these fine wrists, and load these fairy-like fingers with rings.”
“No, no, sir! think of other subjects, and speak of other things, and in another strain. Don’t address me as if I were a beauty; I am your plain, Quakerish governess.”

“You are a beauty in my eyes, and a beauty just after the desire of my heart, – delicate and aërial.”

“Puny and insignificant, you mean. You are dreaming, sir, – or you are sneering. For God’s sake don’t be ironical!”

Explanation of the above passage

Jane’s famous self description of herself as a “Quakerish Governess” shows how she views herself. Edward Rochester has just won the consent of Jane Eyre to marry him. But he makes the error of wanting to change her appearance with Jewelery and other adornments. This classic mistake brings about this response from Jane Eyre who is determined to stay true to herself and her character.
She has led a quiet life and has a strong faith of her own despite being mistreated in a “Christian” school. She expresses a number of times her acknowlegment of God and his influence on her life. But Rochester has little belief of his own and is expecting to tranform Jane into one of his mistresses.
In the book Jane Eyre, Mr Rochester also wants to buy new clothes and other fancy gifts. But Jane will have none of it. This shows her strength of character to stand up to Rochester and his imposing nature. One of the enduring mysteries of the book Jane Eyre is how she stands up to Mr Rochester and is not intimidated by him. In the end he is in awa of Jane as he marvels at her character and her tenacity.

Jane Eyre Quotes – 4 – I am your plain, Quakerish governess.

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Jane Eyre Quotes 3 – Edward Rochester, An Ugly Man

Jane Eyre Quotes“I am sure most people would have thought him an ugly man.”  Chapter 14.

Chapter 14 includes the first conversation of any real consequence between Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester. Jane Eyre is requested to sit with Mr. Rochester and talk together. The trouble is that they hardly know each other and have nothing in common. They have come together because of Adele needing a governess, but they know nothing about each other.
So this line of conversation is awkward and difficult for them both.

Some commentators say that Edward Rochester has already fallen in love with Jane Eyre by this time. I do not agree this is the case although he does find her interesting and wants to spend time with her. There is more on this discussion in “The Memoirs Of Edward Rochester” regarding the thoughts of Mr. Rochester.

This line of thought from Jane Eyre reveals the difference between external appearance and internal character. Neither Jane Eyre herself, or Edward Rochester are good looking people in the eyes of other people. But they are full of quality and good character inwardly. This is what Jane recognises and gives vent to here.
This is really the first thoughts that are recorded that give us Jane’s view of Mr. Rochester. There is also the implication that this same dichotomy is true of Jane Eyre herself. She is plain and simple in appearance. Despite this Mr. Rochester comes to see Jane as beautiful as he becomes aware of her inner nature.
So, even though Edward Rochester is to all outward appearances uncouth and badly presented this does not matter. His inward character, despite being badly damaged by events in his past, is good and attractive to Jane.

Jane Eyre Quotes

“”You examine me, Miss Eyre,” said he: “Do you think me handsome?”
I should, if I had deliberated, have replied to this question by something conventionally vague and polite; but the answer somehow slipped from my tongue before I was aware.
“No Sir.”"

“I am sure most people would have thought him an ugly man; yet there was so much unconscious pride in his port; so much case in his demeanour; such a look of complete indifference to his own external appearance; so haughty a reliance on the power of other qualities, intrinsic or adventitious, to atone for the lack of mere personal attractiveness, that in looking at him, one inevitably shared the indifference; and even in a blind, imperfect sense, put faith in the confidence.”

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Jane Eyre Quotes – 2 – I Knew You Would Do Me Good

Jane Eyre Quotes – 2 “I knew you would do me good in some way, at some time.”

Jane Eyre QuotesThis quote is the first time that Edward Rochester reveals some of his feelings towards Jane Eyre. He makes the speech under extreme circumstances however. Jane Eyre has rescued him from his bed that was on fire. She has just saved his life. The fire was caused by Bertha who is Mr Rochester wife. She is kept hidden in the north wing of Thornfield Hall.

Following the putting out of the fire Mr Rochester goes to see Bertha and her nurse to check that all has been made safe again. Jane has spent a long time on her own waiting for him to return. Eventually he does and makes this speech to Jane. Some think it a thoughtless speech as Jane would have been left alone in the dark and would have become very cold. Others think that by this time Jane is already in love with Edward Rochester and so is comforted by this first speech of devotion.

In “The Memoirs Of Edward Rochester” I have made it clear that Rochester has, on the day before, come to realise the full weight of his feelings for Jane. So for the firs

t time Mr Rochester is honest and open with Jane. He is not sarcastic or difficult in any way.

“I knew you would do me good in some way, at some time; – I saw it in your eyes when I first beheld you: their expression and smile did not – did not strike delight to my very inmost heart so for nothing. People talk of natural sympathies: I have heard of good genii: – there are grains of truth in the wildest fable. My cherished preserver, good-night!”

Following the fire and Jane’s rescue of Mr Rochester they part. Jane to her room. Mr Rochester leaves Thornfield Hall early the next morning to spend time with his society friends. This sudden disappearance demonstrates Mr Rochester’s unpredictable nature and his sudden change of mood. He is spontaneous throughout the book of Jane Eyre but this does not serve him well in making friends and wooing Jane.

His leaving without repeating his thanks to Jane for saving his life shows how self centred he is. Edward Rochester does not think through the consequences of what it would mean to Jane to leave before they have spoken to each other once more.

 

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