Friday, September 28, 2012

Jane Eyre Laid Bare

Do the classics really need sexing up?

We're all familiar with the restrained passion that simmered between Jane Eyre and her arrogant older employer Mr Rochester in the original Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.

It was one of the many aspects that made the novel so great. Am I right?

So why did journalist and editor Eve Sinclair decide Jane Eyre needed to get the 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' treatment?

In her fan fiction rewrite of the classic love story, Sinclair has chosen to add lurid sex scenes to the book.

To be fair, it's a great idea, and she does this in Jane's voice, tolerably well. But to me, it seems as if the extra scenes are there for the sake of sex, and that they are not particularly sexy or well written.  And for me, it spoils a novel which has always been very special.

In Sinclair's Jane Eyre world, the innocent governess arrives at Thornfield Hall alive with sexual desires and already quite well accustomed to orgasms with females and at her own hand. But she's desperate to experience the 'real thing' and go all the way with a man, and the arrogant, experienced, much older Rochester, ticks all the boxes.

Jane is also a voyeur, spying on the enigmatic Rochester and his sexually adventurous friends - and their servants - and fantasising while masturbating at every opportunity.

Sinclair claims she was building on the ever-present eroticism between Jane and Rochester in the original tome. But I feel she's building on the sales and interest in eroticism which is ever-present in the sales of books like the Fifty Shade of Grey trilogy.

Or maybe that's just the cynic in me.

I know classics have been rewritten since the early days, but I do think there are some things, and some heroines, who should be left alone. Jane Eyre is one of them.

But you be the judge.

Thanks to Pan Macmillan, there's a copy of Jane Eyre Laid Bare by Charlotte Bronte and Eve Sinclair up for grabs.

Just leave a comment below if you'd like to win.

Do you think Jane Eyre was an innocent or was she gagging for it?

The competition has now closed and the winner was BabyCakesQueen (Amanda). Amanda, please contact me so I can send your prize.


babycakequeen said...

Hey Bronnie! Its me Amanda- babycakequeen on twitter, long time no speak!

I called my eldest child "Charlotte" after the one and only Ms Charlotte Bronte.

But as for Jane, yes she had a certain hankering that I feel was raging back in the day, but ladies never spoke of it!!


Effie said...

I think the right answer is 'both'!
When I read the story, I think she started off innocent, but as she grew and matured she started thinking of sex and men and probably did end up wanting it!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

What an interesting idea! I'm intrigued by it and will have a look out for it at the bookshop :)

Lisa - Sweet Little Pretties said...

It's an interesting take on Jane Eyre - She was only innocent in the Beginning and started to become more interested - having read Pride and Prejudice and zombies i love a good classic with a twist

kelley @ magnetoboldtoo said...

'gagging for it'


Love it.