The books-to-movie challenge this month is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Jane Eyre was originally published under the pen name “Currer Bell” in London in 1847 with the American publication in 1848. Charlotte Bronte is one of the famous Bronte sisters credited with such classics as Wuthering Heights which was written by sister Emily but edited by Charlotte. Charlotte Bronte was born in April 1816 and after the death of her mother from cancer was sent to Clergy Daughters’ School at Cowan Bridge in Lancashire (which she would describe as Lowood School in Jane Eyre). The poor conditions of the school Charlotte credited with causing the death of two of her older sisters and contributed to all of the sisters’ poor health and eventual early deaths. Charlotte passed away in March 1855 with a stillborn child, there are several theories as to the cause of Charlotte’s death including dehydration from the extreme morning sickness she suffered from or possibly from typhus contracted from a maid servant who died just before Charlotte died.
Jane Eyre continues to influence scores of writers, filmmakers and the imaginations of readers to this day. It has been made into over 11 film versions, 9 television versions, a ballet, an opera and has impacted numerous literary works. In researching the information for this post I found out that Focus Features and the BBC have teamed together to make a film version of this film scheduled for release sometime next year. The two teamed up to bring the amazing Pride and Prejudice film version, I am so excited to see this film! Mia Waskowska who played Alice in Alice in Wonderland with Johnny Depp is Jane and Judi Dench (one of my favorite actresses of all time!) will play Mrs. Fairfax, Mr. Rochester’s housekeeper.
The first film version I ever saw was the 1944 version with Orsen Wells as Mr. Rochester. While I loved Orsen Wells, I was always bothered by Joan Fontaine as Jane because she was WAY too pretty to be Jane. The version for the challenge this month is the 2006 BBC min-series version. The novel is available for free online so get reading and pull out your popcorn to watch the film.