Jane Eyre (Playhouse of World Famous Authors)

This is a radio adaptation of Jane Eyre from a fair few years ago, but there’s no information when (sounds like 40s or 50s if the Dramatic Music is anything to go by), or who the cast are, but it’s in a (presumed) series called Playhouse of World Famous Authors. The file is 26:36 long and after a nearly two-minute long introduction, we skip Lowood completely and find Jane having tea with Mrs. Fairfax, who tells about Grace Poole and the mad cackles. Jane talks in a really childish way for some reason, and her first reaction to Rochester is “What a fearsome, horrid, ugly man!” As if!

On their very first meeting, Rochester tells Jane the story of Adèle, that Céline was his lover, and he’s very gruff and disagreeable as well. There’s a house party and the “and a little depressed” scene is interrupted by Mrs. Fairfax saying a Mr. Mason has arrived. He gets attacked and moans, “She’s killed me this time! She’s killed me!” (Dramatic Music!) Shortly thereafter – the morning after? – Rochester proposes. At church, Mason comes interrupting with the impediment, they go back to Thornfield and meet Bertha.

Rochester suggests Jane lives together with him anyway, but Jane declines, saying she’d lose her self-respect. Well done, that’s the whole point!

Jane leaves, becomes Miss Elliott the schoolmistress (no Rivers family), and then she starts to hear voices. The way she hears Rochester’s call makes her sound like she’s as much of a crackpot as Bertha! When she returns to Thornfield, the coach driver tells her it’s “nowt but a ruin”, to which she replies “oh, how sad” in a “you’re out of cake? Oh, that’s unfortunate. Guess I’ll have a biscuit” way. As in, not a very big reaction at all, just a disappointed “oh”. The coach driver sounds like a right geezer – and like it’s Talk Like a Pirate Day; I keep expecting him to go “yarrrrr!”

It’s a short and not exactly inspired version.

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