Jane Eyre (Smith, Elder & Company, 1847)
Originally published as Jane Eyre: An Autobiography, the novel was published under Charlotte Bronte’s pen name, Currer Bell. Bronte (as well as her two female author sisters) all chose to use pen names to disguise their genders as they felt that female authors were looked down upon. It is by no stretch to say that Jane Eyre revolutionised the world of fiction; Bronte has been labeled the “first historian of the private consciousness.”
The novel chronicles the life of Jane Eyre, an orphan sent to live with her Aunt Reed at Gateshead during her early childhood. Her formative years were spent at Lowood School and continues through her career as a governess at Thornfield where she falls in love with her boss Mr. Rochester and her life beyond.
The novel has seen a huge array of adaptations and numerous pop culture references. The most recent adaptation was a 2011 feature film starring actress Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender and Dame Judi Dench.