Tuesday, January 23, 2007

To Eyre is human...

As those of you who have read my blog for longer than a month, you will know how very much I enjoy almost any literature from the Victorian era. So what to my wondering eyes would appear last week, but the news that Masterpiece Theater has reproduced their own version of Jane Eyre! Now I cannot give you a review yet, as it is not even finished airing, but when I do see it, if it stays even remotely close to the book I am bound to like it.

There are very few actors in it that I have seen before and the woman who plays the lead is a brand new face. The girl who plays the young Jane is none other than little Lucy Pevense (Georgie Henley) from The Chronicles of Narnia. I cannot imagine her having to endure what young Jane does in the book so I look forward to seeing her ability as an actress in this area. The other person I do recognize is the melodramatic mother (Francesca Annis) from Wives and Daughters. She looks really very different though in this film!

It is wonderful that there is so much interest in this type of literature-to-film. There are so few truly worthwhile movies to watch these days that I welcome something that is. I am very curious how they handle Jane's choices and faith. The book was very powerful and I hope they fairly represent it.

PBS has a very interesting section on the role of governesses in Victorian England. I found the reading to be fascinating. There was a dearth of available positions for females without family to care for them. Jane found herself in this very position. Victorian health care was not what it is today and many people died leaving family bereft of any support at all. Whole estates could be entailed away from the daughters of the family leaving them completely on their own. In that society they had almost no where to turn except to the thin availability of "acceptable" jobs. Governesses were one avenue--but it was very difficult and many times seriously unhappy and unappreciated work.

For all my desire to prepare my daughters to be productive in the home, I *am* grateful that in our society a woman could provide for herself if she has a need. I cannot imagine what it would have been like to be completely alone in an unfeeling world. Jane knew that feeling very well. Perhaps that is one of the reasons Charlotte Bronte's book is so powerful. It is incredibly moving and some of it is based upon her own life. Tragedy produces great works of art they say--I think that happened in her novel, Jane Eyre.



Marie said...

Don't we enjoy the same things! I watched the first installment of Jane Eyre last Sunday and I loved it. I look forward to hearing your opinion.


JenIG said...

you'll be proud to hear that we rented wives and daughters and will be watching it tonight. i've been looking forward to that after hearing you talk about it. and i am also looking forward to seeing jane eyre. did i spell that right? that will be fun.

LaMereAcademy said...

I can't wait to buy it, it's not on sale until Feb.

I thought they did a wonderful job so far. Especially as I watched a 1996 version of Jane Eyre today w/ my 11 yr. old dd and they chopped it up terribly.

I'm rereading the book right now also. It's my all time favorite. I love the Bronte's...Wuthering Heights is another fav. and I have Villette and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall waiting for me on my shelves.