It’s link time! Charlotte Bronte was a prickly person who experienced a great deal of loss in her short life. She lived long enough to see Jane Eyre be a success and even enjoyed some literary fame. Here’s a link to my review of Charlotte Bronte, A Fiery Heart, by Clare Harman. You might also enjoy The Bronte Cabinet: Three Lives in Nine Objects, by Diana Lutz (my review is here).
Many people have tried retelling Jane Eyre’s story from the viewpoints of different characters or in different time settings. The most depressing but also influential and challenging of these is Wide Sargasso Sea, by Jean Rhys, who tells the story from Bertha’s perspective and challenges Victorian ideas about gender, race, colonialism, and sexuality. Another popular retelling is The Flight of Gemma Hardy, by Margot Livesey, which places the story in the 1950s. Here are links to my reviews of some retellings:
Reader, I Married Him, edited by Tracy Chevalier
This is a collection of short stories inspired by Jane Eyre and featuring variety in setting and tone.
Mr. Rochester, by Sarah Shoemaker
Mr. Rochester’s story, from childhood through the end of the events of Jane Eyre.
Jane Steele, by Lyndsay Faye
I loved this book! A Victorian orphan named Jane is inspired by Jane Eyre, with whom she has many life events in common. Jane Steele, however, is capable of using force to defend herself and her friends, which has far reaching consequences.
Jenna Starborn, by Sharon Shinn
A science fiction version which works surprisingly well.
Ironskin, by Tina Connolly
A dark fantasy, one of my favorites.