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Jane Eyre: An Autobiography Vol. I
by Charlotte Bronte
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In Jane Eyre Charlotte Bronte opened a new road for the English novel by making the heroine plain and penniless and by striking off the shackles of literary and moral convention relating to women's capacity for passionate experience. Though the book shocked some early readers, its union of the dramatic and commonplace, its deeply felt indignation, and its forceful presentation of reality tempered by imagination quickly established it among the masterpieces of fiction. As a social document it is outstanding among the purposive novels of the 1840's; as a sustained achievement in the art of storytelling it is timeless.
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