Volume 1, Chapter 10

Synopsis of Volume 1, Chapter 10

After the typhus epidemic, an enquiry into conditions at the school leads to the exposure of its shortcomings and Mr Brocklehurst's authority is considerably lessened.

Ten years pass and Jane has become a teacher, enjoying the friendship of Miss Temple. But when Miss Temple marries and moves far away from Lowood, Jane becomes restless and decides that she wishes to see more of the world. She advertises for a new job and obtains a post as a governess at Thornfield Hall, close to a large industrial town.

As she is about to leave, she is visited by Bessie, the nurse at Gateshead, who brings news of the Reed family. She also reports that, seven years previously, a man called Eyre, Jane's father's brother from Madeira, called to see her, and was disappointed to find that she no longer lived with the Reeds.

Commentary on Volume 1, Chapter 10

I went to the window … a new servitude In this paragraph, by describing Jane's restlessness and dissatisfaction after the departure of Miss Temple from Lowood, Charlotte Brontë gives the narrative a fresh impetus, signalled, as always in the novel, by a change of location. See Structure: Structure by setting and Critical approaches to Jane Eyre: Analysing a passage.

Thornfield For the description of the house, Charlotte Brontë drew on her knowledge of ‘Rydings', Birstall and ‘Norton Conyers', near Ripon, both large houses in Yorkshire.

Madeira, photo by Shaun Dunphy, available through Creative CommonsMillcote This fictional location seems to be based on Bradford (the industrial town closest to Haworth) and Leeds.

Madeira A Portuguese island in the Atlantic Ocean, famous for the production of Madeira wine as well as port and sherry, where English traders were active from the eighteenth century. See also Critical approaches: Post-colonial criticism.

Investigating Volume 1, Chapter 10
  • Bessie, the servant from Gateshead, reappears in this chapter:
    • What is the impact of her arrival at this point in the narrative?
Related material
Scan and go

Scan on your mobile for direct link.