Jane Eyre Contents
- Social / political context
- Educational context
- Religious / philosophical context
- Literary context
- Note on chapter numbering
- Volume 1 / Chapters 1 - 15
- Volume 1: Dedication and Preface
- Volume 1, Chapter 1
- Volume 1, Chapter 2
- Volume 1, Chapter 3
- Volume 1, Chapter 4
- Volume 1, Chapter 5
- Volume 1, Chapter 6
- Volume 1, Chapter 7
- Volume 1, Chapter 8
- Volume 1, Chapter 9
- Volume 1, Chapter 10
- Volume 1, Chapter 11
- Volume 1, Chapter 12
- Volume 1, Chapter 13
- Volume 1, Chapter 14
- Volume 1, Chapter 15
- Volume 2 / Chapters 16 - 26
- Volume 3 / Chapters 27 - 38
Volume 1, Chapter 11
Synopsis of Volume 1, Chapter 11
Jane travels to Thornfield Hall where she meets Mrs Fairfax, whom she assumes to be her employer, but who is, in fact, the housekeeper. Her employer is Mr Rochester, the owner of Thornfield, and Jane is to be governess to Adèle Varens, Mr Rochester's ward. She meets Adele and finds that her first language is French, which Jane herself speaks very well. After spending the morning giving Adèle her lessons, she joins Mrs Fairfax in exploring the house. On an upper floor, she hears a mysterious laugh, which Mrs Fairfax explains as belonging to a servant, Grace Poole.
Commentary on Volume 1, Chapter 11
George III King of England from 1760-1820. At times during his reign, he appeared to be mad and his son ruled in his place, acting as Prince Regent from 1811-20.
the Prince of Wales George III's eldest son, who became notorious for living a life of luxury and pleasure. He was 58 when he succeeded to the throne and reigned as George IV from 1820-1830.
the death of Wolfe General James Wolfe (1727-59) led the English forces to victory against the French forces in Quebec, Canada, but was killed in the final battle. Benjamin West (1738-1820) painted a celebrated heroic representation of Wolfe's death (1770) and prints of this painting were to be found in many houses in England.
canzonette A song or lyric.
La Ligue des Rats; fable de la Fontaine ‘The Plot of the Rats', an animal fable by Jean de la Fontaine (1621-95) who published twelve books of poetic fables between 1668 and 1694, which were first translated into English in 1734. The fables were widely used in teaching or as texts for recitations.
there was one bookcase left open … these were all the governess would require for her private perusal This offers an insight into the expectations of the kind of reading likely to be appropriate to a young woman, perhaps of limited education.
Tyrian-dyed A red or purple die, originating in the ancient Mediterranean port of Tyre.
Bohemian glass Glassware from Bohemia, now part of the Czech Republic.
pale Parian mantelpiece Parian is a fine white marble, found on the Greek
island of Paros. This and the Tyrian curtain and Bohemian glass hint at the extent of Rochester's travels, which he will describe in Chapter 24.
‘after … well' See William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Macbeth Act 3, sc 2, l.3.
Bluebeard's Castle In this story, versions of which are known all over the world, a young wife is allowed to visit all but one of the rooms in her new husband's castle. When it is unlocked, she finds that it contains the bodies of his previous wives.
- Jane's arrival at Thornfield opens a new phase in her life:
- What are her first impressions of the house?
- Why do you think Charlotte Brontë offers the reader so much detail about the contents and decoration of Thornfield?
- What is the significance for the narrative of the reference to the Bluebeard story?
Birth and call of Moses; Passover and deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt; giving of the law including the Ten Commandments at Sinai; God takes Israel as his covenant people; beginning of 40 years wandering in the wilderness; setting up of the Tabernacle.
Famous stories from the Bible: The Ten Commandments given to Moses
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