Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week you compile a list of ten books which coincide with that week's theme. You can find everything you need to know about joining in here!
In nine days time, on the 21st April, it's Charlotte Brontë's 200th birthday. It seemed wrong not to celebrate the birthday of one of the world's most famous authors, so today I have ten recommendations for any fans of her most famous work, Jane Eyre!
If you haven't read Jane Eyre and/or are completely unfamiliar with the story, I'd recommend you stop reading now - I don't want to spoil anything for you if it's a novel you still want to read!
The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde: It's practically in the title! Fforde's Thursday Next series takes place in a world in which our literary characters are very real, and when Jane Eyre disappears it's up to Thursday Next to find her.
Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë: Anne Brontë's often forgotten in favour of her sisters, which is a real shame considering she may actually be the most feminist of the three. One of the reasons she may be lesser known is that Charlotte decided not to reprint The Tenant of Wildfell Hall after Anne's death, so I think it's only fair she gets a mention here! Like Jane Eyre, Agnes Grey is based on the sisters' time as governesses, though Agnes Grey may be a more realistic portrayal of the job...
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier: If you enjoyed Charlotte Brontë's masterpiece I don't see why you wouldn't enjoy Daphne du Maurier's. Mrs. de Winter is not quite as fiery as Jane, but I've always found quite a few similarities between Jane Eyre and Rebecca, and often wondered if du Maurier was inspired by Jane Eyre at all when she was writing her most famous novel. It's also just a fantastic book, so you should read it whether you're a Jane Eyre fan or not!
How To Be a Heroine by Samantha Ellis: Samantha Ellis's memoir is all about her relationship with her favourite literary heroines, and the book actually sprang from a conversation between herself and her best friend in which they were discussing whether it was better to be like Jane Eyre or Cathy Earnshaw. If you're new to non-fiction this is a brilliant starting point - it's a great memoir.
The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton: Yet another book you should read whether you're a fan of Jane Eyre or not because it's just that good, but this is another story that gave me some Jane Eyre vibes when I read it. The Miniaturist felt like a coming-of-age novel to me in much the same way that Jane Eyre does. Read it for yourself and see if you agree!
Lirael by Garth Nix: Plot-wise Lirael is nothing like Jane Eyre, but character-wise? There's something about Lirael that reminds me of a fantastical Jane Eyre; her sad childhood, her intelligence, her quiet strength. Jane, I believe, has influenced many a heroine.
Blue Stockings by Jessica Swale: Set in the late 19th century, Blue Stockings is a play that tells the story of four women who attend Girton College, Cambridge: the first college in Britain to admit women. There's no doubt in my mind that Jane would have attended university if she'd had the chance to.
Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys: This modern classic is a prequel to Jane Eyre which tells the story of Bertha Mason: the madwoman in the attic.
Fingersmith by Sarah Waters: I think Sarah Waters is a brilliant storyteller, and Fingersmith is one of the twistiest, turniest novels I've ever read. As shocking to read as Jane Eyre was upon its initial publication, it also includes a love story that crosses class boundaries and is a wonderful place to start if you've yet to read any Sarah Waters.
Jane, the Fox & Me by Fanny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault: This graphic novel tells the story of Hélène who's being bullied at school because of her weight. The only thing that makes her feel better is reading Jane Eyre. This is a beautiful graphic novel, and one that, sadly, I imagine a lot of girls can relate to. It's not the best graphic novel I've ever read, but it's still pretty darn good.
What did you talk about this week?