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Imperialism, Reform and the Making of Englishness in Jane Eyre
 
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Imperialism, Reform and the Making of Englishness in Jane Eyre
 
 
Palgrave Macmillan
 
 
 
 
 
30 Apr 2008
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£65.00
|Hardback Print on Demand
  
9780230554252
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eBooks ebook on Palgrave Connect ebook available via library subscriptions ebook on ebooks.com 
 
 


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In a famous passage from Charlotte Brontë's novel, Jane Eyre identifies herself with 'millions' in 'ferment', 'in silent revolt against their lot'. Elsewhere, she compares herself to a missionary preaching liberty to the enslaved, helping them secure their freedom. Her imagination is shaped by historical events, and yet Brontë is usually thought to be careless about dates and historical markers in Jane Eyre. In this groundbreaking study, Sue Thomas convincingly dates the action and setting of the novel, and analyses the worldly consciousness of Brontë's characters and of Brontë herself. She addresses the articulation of questions of imperial history and relations, reform, racialization and the making of Englishness in the novel. Her examination of an 1848 stage adaptation of Jane Eyre for a predominantly working-class audience and of an 1859 Caribbean reworking of the novel illuminate the limits of Brontë's social imaginary.


Description

In a famous passage from Charlotte Brontë's novel, Jane Eyre identifies herself with 'millions' in 'ferment', 'in silent revolt against their lot'. Elsewhere, she compares herself to a missionary preaching liberty to the enslaved, helping them secure their freedom. Her imagination is shaped by historical events, and yet Brontë is usually thought to be careless about dates and historical markers in Jane Eyre. In this groundbreaking study, Sue Thomas convincingly dates the action and setting of the novel, and analyses the worldly consciousness of Brontë's characters and of Brontë herself. She addresses the articulation of questions of imperial history and relations, reform, racialization and the making of Englishness in the novel. Her examination of an 1848 stage adaptation of Jane Eyre for a predominantly working-class audience and of an 1859 Caribbean reworking of the novel illuminate the limits of Brontë's social imaginary.


Reviews

'In this groundbreaking study, Sue Thomas convincingly dates the action and setting of the novel...an important addition to the critical approaches to Jane Eyre...' - BrontëBlog


Contents

Acknowledgements
List of Abbreviations
Introduction
Christianity and the State of Slavery
The Tropical Extravagance of Bertha Mason
Monstrous Martyrdom and the "Overshadowing Tree" of Philanthropy
The Ferment of Restlessness
Playing Jane Eyre at the Victoria Theatre in 1848
An 1859 Caribbean Reworking of Jane Eyre
Appendix 1: Timeline
Notes
Works Cited
Works Consulted
Index


Authors

SUE THOMAS is Professor of English at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia. She is the author of The Worlding of Jean Rhys, co-author with Ann Blake and Leela Gandhi of England through Colonial Eyes in Twentieth-Century Fiction, and compiler of Elizabeth Robins (1862-1952): A Bibliography, and has published extensively on Nineteenth- and Twentieth-century women writers, and decolonising literatures.