Volume 1, Chapter 13

Synopsis of Volume 1, Chapter 13

Next day, Jane meets her employer, who has recently returned from Europe, more formally. He ignores his ward Adèle, questions Jane about her own past and is very impressed by her drawings. Mrs Fairfax tells Jane some of Mr Rochester's family history, including his quarrel with his father and elder brother, from whom he inherited Thornfield. In consequence, he has lived a wandering life and only lives in the house for very short periods.

Commentary on Volume 1, Chapter 13

Heidelberg on the Rhine This ancient university city in Germany actually stands on the Neckar, a tributary of the Rhine.

Physiognomy The practice of reading a person's character from his or her face. It was another of the pseudo-sciences popular in the nineteenth century and there are many examples of it in Jane Eyre and other novels of the time. See also the note on phrenology in Volume 1, Chapter 5.

fairy tales See Charlotte Brontë and the novel and Narrative techniques: realism and the supernatural.

the men in green The gnomes and elves – or leprechauns in Ireland – that were supposed to inhabit woods and forest were often represented as dressed in green to symbolise their affinity with the natural world.

head and front of his offending See Shakespeare, Othello (c. 1604), 1.3.80.

These pictures were in water-colours See Imagery, metaphor and symbolism in Jane Eyre: Paintings and drawings.

the likeness of a kingly crown … the shape which shape had none Phrases from the description of Death in Paradise Lost (1667), by John Milton (1608-74) Book 2. ll.673 and 667. See Imagery, metaphor and symbolism in Jane Eyre: Biblical, mythological and literary references.

Where did you see Latmos? This remark gives an indication of the extent of Rochester's restlessness, and his travels all over Europe. Latmos (now Besh Parmak) is on the west coast of Turkey and in classical legend is where the moon-goddess Selene fell in love with Endymion. See Imagery, metaphor and symbolism in Jane Eyre: Nature.

Investigating Volume 1, Chapter 13
  • Rochester often associates Jane with fairies
    • Why do you think he does so?
  • What does Rochester think he is learning from Jane's paintings and drawings?
  • How does his opinion of her work modify the reader's view of Jane?
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