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The Quest to read everything Jane Eyre

…before they go as mad as the secret wife in the attic? I aim to find out! 🙂

This is where it all began.

Okay, I don’t mean I aim to read Jane Eyre prequels, sequels, spin-offs and inspired bys/based ons until I actually go insane, more like, how many can I manage to read before I get thoroughly fed up with the whole thing.

Here’s the cunning plan … (updated 15 May 2014)

Have, already read, with links to reviews

Please note that the star ratings here do not necessarily correspond with the rating I gave the books in the actual reviews. Here, it’s just an illustration of the overall impression I had of them, to kind of drive home the point of the section.

Outstanding (★★★★★)

  1. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde (spin-off)
  2. Jane by April Lindner (re-telling, modern)
  3. Jane Airhead by Kay Woodward (inspired by, modern)
  4. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (the original and best)
  5. Jane Eyre – the Graphic Novel (original, re-told as a graphic novel)
  6. Jane Eyre’s Husband – The Life of Edward Rochester by Tara Bradley (prequel, re-telling, sequel about Rochester)
  7. Jane Slayre by Charlotte Brontë and Sherri Browning Erwin (re-telling, horror/comedy)

Exceeds Expectations (★★★★)

  1. A Breath of Eyre by Eve Marie Mont (YA, inspired by, partial re-telling)
  2. An American Heir by Chrissy Breen Keffer (re-telling, modern, Kindle)
  3. The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey (re-telling, 50/60s)
  4. Ironskin by Tina Connolly (re-telling, steampunk/fantasy)
  5. Miss Elliott and the Eldritch by Laura Neubert (novella: re-telling, horror)
  6. Rochester by JL Niemann (re-telling)
  7. Sloane Hall by Libby Sternberg (re-telling, 1920s Hollywood)

Acceptable (★★★)

  1. Adele Grace and Celine: The Other Women of Jane Eyre by Claire Moïse (sequel)
  2. Brizecombe Hall by Catherine E Chapman (novelette: re-telling)
  3. Chocolate Roses: A Jane Eyre Parody by Joan Sowards (inspired by, modern, Mormon)
  4. It All Began with Jane Eyre by Sheila Greenwald (YA, inspired by)
  5. Jane Eyre’s Daughter by Elizabeth Newark (sequel)
  6. Jane Rochester by Kimberly A Bennett (1st Edition) (sequel)
  7. Jillian Dare by Melanie M Jeshke (re-telling, modern)
  8. Reader, I Married Him by Janet Mullany (novella: re-telling/sequel, erotic)
  9. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys (prequel)

Poor (★★)

  1. Claire’s Not-So-Gothic Romance by Bonnie Blythe (re-telling, modern)
  2. Devil Within by Catherine George (inspired by, 1980s)
  3. The Forbidden Innocent by Sharon Kendrick (re-telling, modern, Mills & Boon)
  4. Palladian by Elizabeth Taylor (inspired by)
  5. Rochester: Consummation by JL Niemann (re-working)
  6. The Turn of the Screw by Henry James (may contain echoes of)

Dreadful (★)

  1. Adèle / The French Dancer’s Bastard / Thornfield Hall by Emma Tennant (prequel-sequel)
  2. Mrs. Rochester by Hilary Bailey (sequel)

Troll (-)

  1. Charlotte – The Final Journey of Jane Eyre by DM Thomas (inspired by/partial sequel, modern)
  2. Jane and Her Master by Stephen Rawlings (re-telling, erotic/BDSM)

Currently reading

  1. The Memoirs of Edward Rochester by Ken Jones (re-telling by Rochester, Kindle)
  2. The First Mrs. Rochester and Her Husband by MC Smith (prequel)
  3. Jane Eyre Gets Real by Annabelle Troy (spin-off)

On the shelf, waiting to be read

  1. Adele: A Tale by Julia Kavanagh (presumed re-telling?)
  2. Carisbrooke Abbey a.k.a. One Night at the Abbey by Amanda Grange (re-telling)
  3. Cometh Up As a Flower by Rhoda Broughton (inspired by)
  4. Copper Beeches, the by Arthur Conan Doyle (re-relling)
  5. Daisy Burns by Julia Kavanagh (inspired by?)
  6. Disciplining Jane by “Jane Eyre” (a.k.a. An English Education by P N Dedeaux) (re-telling, erotic/BDSM)
  7. Doing Mr. Rochester by Mandy Fontain (sequel?, erotic)
  8. Grace Lee by Julia Kavanagh (inspired by?)
  9. Henry Brocken: His Travels and Adventures in the Rich, Strange, Scarce-Imaginable Regions of Romance by Walter de la Mare (inspired by?)
  10. I Am Jane Eyre by Teana Rowland (re-telling, erotic)
  11. Ivy Tree, the by Mary Stewart (inspired by, mystery?)
  12. Jane by Marielena Zuniga (some kind of reality/novel mashup, Kindle)
  13. Jane_E: Friendless Orphan by Erin McCole-Cupp (re-telling, sci-fi)
  14. Jane Eyre, Beware by Anthony Auriemma & Carolyn Chambers Clark (inspired by, Kindle)
  15. Jane Eyre’s Rival: The Real Mrs Rochester by Clair Holland (re-telling, Kindle)
  16. Jane Eyrotica by Charlotte Brontë and Karena Rose (re-telling, erotic)
  17. Jane Rochester: Third Edition by Kimberly A Bennett (sequel, Kindle)
  18. Jenna Starborn by Sharon Shinn (re-telling, sci-fi)
  19. Lady Audley’s Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon (inspired by)
  20. My Mr. Rochester by LK Rigel (re-telling?)
  21. Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart (inspired by)
  22. Olive by Dinah Mulock Craik (inspired by)
  23. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (inspired by)
  24. Rochester: Redemption by JL Niemann (re-working)
  25. South Riding by Winifred Holtby (inspired by)
  26. Thornycroft Hall by Emma Jane Worboise (late 19th Century rip-off?)
  27. Unicorn, the by Iris Murdoch (inspired by)
  28. Vera by Elizabeth von Armin (inspired by, similar to Rebecca)

Will be getting at some point

I’m eternally grateful for review copies, awesome authors/publishers! 🙂

  1. All Hallows at Eyre Hall by Luccia Gray (sequel)
  2. Anne Eyre by Summer Day (re-telling)
  3. The Billionaire’s Secrets by Meadow Taylor (?)
  4. Cat and Mouse by Christianna Brand (inspired by)
  5. Dark Companion by Marta Acosta (re-telling)
  6. Jane Eyre Laid Bare by Eve Sinclair (re-telling, erotic)
  7. Jane Eyre: Clandestine Classics by Charlotte Brontë and Sierra Cartwright (full JE with added erotica bits)
  8. Jane Eyre Chronicles #1: Death of a Schoolgirl by Joanna Campbell Slan (mystery, sequel?)
  9. Jane Eyre Chronicles #2: Death of a Dowager by Joanna Campbell Slan (mystery, sequel?)
  10. Jane, the Fox, and Me by Fanny Britt & Isabelle Arsenault

Not yet published

I’m eternally grateful for review copies, awesome authors/publishers! 🙂

  1. The Hierophant by Michael Shilling (?) 
  2. The Journal of Jane Reed Eyre by Kimberly A Bennett (?)
  3. The Truth About Jane Eyre by Beth Pattillo (?)

Would love, if I can a) find (if you can help, please let me know!) and b) afford

  • A Hidden Passion by Lucia Logan (plagiarised re-telling, homoerotic)
  • Mrs. Rochester by Warwick Blanchett (sequel)

Only if/when they are translated into English

  • Edward F. Rochester by Christine Paris Bruyer (French, re-telling)
  • La Bambinaia Francese by Bianca Pitzorno (Italian, re-telling)

Need further investigation to see if they’re applicable or not

  • Secret of Kyriels, the by Edith Nesbit (1899)
  • Wanted: Someone Innocent by Margery Allingham (1945)

I aim to read all the ones I can come over and review them and then make a post with short comments and summaries about each title so that there’s at least one comprehensive guide to these books out there on the interwebs. At least I tell myself this would be a good thing to do, something to strive toward, rather than just compulsively collect Jane Eyre-related books and read them because I’m ever so slightly obsessed by the story. Might as well put the obsession to good use, or, put a method to my madness.

I have to draw the line somewhere, so I’ve consciously decided not to include:

  • fanfic or short stories only posted in forums or on fanfic/writing communities (too much material, too little time – I wasn’t planning on continuing this quest into my next incarnation!)
  • short stories published in anthologies with other material (don’t want to buy a big book when I only want to read a small part of it – simply haven’t got the money … or shelf space. If it’s an anthology of ONLY JE-related items, fair enough)
  • poetry (ugh)
  • foreign languages (would help if I could understand what I’m reading, right? I’m fluent in English and Swedish, and Norwegian and Danish are similar enough to Swedish to work. I might be willing to try German, because I want to learn the language, but I’m only at a level to grasp very easy children’s books …)

If it’s a novella or short story published somewhere (or about to be) that the author can submit to me as a PDF, Word document or eBook format (.mobi, .prc, .azw), I’ll be willing to have a read and review it. Just provide me with some publication details, so I can point people in the right direction if they want to read it too. 🙂

If you spot any more, or can provide the novels I’m missing for a reasonable price or just lend them to me (you’ll get them back, I promise!), please let me know – DM me on Twitter (@TheSqueee), email me at blog (at) traxy (dot) co (dot) uk or see the bottom of the page for further stalking opportunities! 🙂

Big thanks to Thisbeciel at The Enthusiast’s Guide to Jane Eyre Adaptations for a very extensive list of derivatives!

Traxy Thornfield

A Swedish introvert residing in Robin Hood Country (Nottingham, UK) with a husband and two cats. She's an eager participant in tabletop and play-by-post roleplaying, woodworking, photography and European travel. Will get a novel out one of these days, if she doesn't get too distracted along the way.

45 thoughts on “The Quest to read everything Jane Eyre

  1. Good luck with your quest. My friend is also on a similar quest so hope you both get to read them all!

  2. Wow, I had no idea the list of Jane retellings, sequels, prequels, etc. was so extensive! Best of luck with your list. 🙂

  3. Did you manage to get a copy of Jane Rochester by K.Bennett? I have a copy which I’m more than happy to pop into the post to help you complete your quest!

  4. Hi Anonymous,
    Thank you for your comment! No, I still haven’t got a hold of that one, so I’d be absolutely delighted at your offer! Please email me at dishmastah (at) traxy (dot) net and we can talk more about it. 🙂

  5. I hope you are enjoying Tara Bradley’s book – I originally read it on one of the forums on which she originally posted it, chapter by chapter, and I’d say it’s simply the best JE-related story I’ve come across.
    However, unless you want to end your quest sooner rather than later, I’d advise you to not touch the D.M. Thomas book with a bargepole – it really is a travesty of the original …

  6. Oh yes, I started reading the Bradley book yesterday during my lunch break at work and had some difficulties putting it down and getting back to my desk! If it continues the same way, expect an incredibly gushing review! 😀

    With travesties to the original, well, already read a few of those, so I’m kind of … prepared. Now I think I approach it more in a sort of “okay, so how bad can this author f**k it up?” way. We’ll see how it goes. At least it looks like a fairly thin book! Thanks for the warning, though. 🙂

  7. I’m sure you’ll continue to enjoy Tara Bradley’s book ‘Jane Eyre’s Husband – The Life Of Edward Rochester’ it is, as you say, very difficult to put down!

    I’ve also read ‘Rochester’, the first of a trilogy by Joanna Nieman, and although it’s a very different take on Rochester I found it an enjoyable but somewhat
    ‘angsty’ read.

  8. Hi Tara! Sweet – I’ll add it to the review. 😀 I’m still only half-way through (last thing was Mason and uncle John talking), but it’s very difficult to put down.

  9. Hi Traxy, I have a few more books for you to add to your list:

    Jane_E Friendless Orphan by Erin McCole-Cupp. A sci-fi retelling.

    La Bambinaia Francese by Bianca Pitzorno – written in Italian about the lives of Celine, Adele, and eventually Bertha. Not a good portrayal of Edward and Jane.

    Edward R. Rochester by Christine Paris Bruyer – written in French. His side of the story. Charming.

    And last but not least

    A Hidden Passion by Lucia Logan – a homoerotic retelling of JE that was pulled off shelves for plagiarism months after it won some writing award. I had a lot of trouble finding a copy of it.

  10. Hi jomel, thanks for letting me know! Have put “Jane_E” in my shopping basket and will try and see if I can track down the homoerotic one (O.O). That’ll … be … umm … interesting.

    I’ve heard of the Italian and the French books, but umm, seeing as how the only Italian I know is “ciao” and although I did three years of French in school (finished 13 years ago), I never was very good at it. If they ever get translated into English, I’ll definitely read them, but until then, I’m afraid I’m going to have to pass. 🙁

  11. I have two more book titles to add to the list.

    H: The Story of Heathcliff’s Journey Back to Wuthering Heights by Lin Haire-Sargeant

    Don’t let the title fool you. The plot is very relevant to JE.

    And a strange book titled Henry Brocken by Walter J. De La Mare where a chapter is devoted to Jane and Edward at Ferndean.

  12. Right now I’m about halfway through “An American Heir” by Chrissy Breen Keffer. It is really good! The writer is a very good one, and her Rochester character is very well-done. She does an excellent job of nailing the initial conversations between the Jane and Edward characters. I wasn’t sure I’d like it, as my favorite modern telling was done on the Toby Stephens Invision site, but this one is also very skillfully done. It’s set in America, with completely different names for the characters, but the author does a great job of making parallels between the new and the old. I’m quite impressed and am glad to see it’s on your “to read” list!

  13. jpmel: I’ll look into them, thanks! 🙂

    Tara: Oooh, I can use that trailer as a teaser for the review(s). 🙂

    Nice to hear AAH is supposed to be good. Currently reading something else on my Kindle (I know you can read multiple things but I prefer to concentrate on one at a time) but might pick it afterwards. 🙂

  14. I just happened upon your list (after reading Rochester and looking for the upcoming sequel to Niemann’s re-telling). I wanted to let you know that there’s another re-telling that will be published in the US in January 2012 called The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey. Here’s a link to the author’s page for more information: http://www.margotlivesey.com/the-flight-of-gemma-hardy.html

  15. The sequel to J.L. Niemann’s Rochester is out! Yeah, we have been waiting for this book for almost a year.

  16. Really? That’s excellent news! Haven’t checked the Toby Stephens forum for ages, but will remember to do so now – and go look for the book! Thanks! 🙂

  17. I just finished “A Breath of Eyre” by Eva Marie Mont and I really enjoyed it.  Although it’s inspired by Jane Eyre it’s not a verbatim rehash of the book; instead it has echoes of JE woven seamlessly throughout.  Definitely worth reading.

  18. If any of you read the first two books of the Rochester novel by J.L. Niemann (its a trilogy- the first one is “Rochester” by J.L. Niemann, the second one is “Rochester: Consummation” by J.L. Niemann, and the last installment to be called “Rochester: Redemption” by J.L. Niemann, was due to be released in November 2012. The first two were so good. Totally put you inside rochester’s head instead of jane this time. Very enthralling. Well i have been researching this for TWO WEEKS and finally found the publishing company, Trafford Publishing, and I called them to see when the book would be coming out. SAD news. It will never be published. It will remain a forever cliffhanger for you. The author J.L. Niemann died in July 2012 so alas we will forever have to wonder how she would have finished this richly detailed story. I am so bummed out. I wanted so badly to see what happened inside rochester’s head after jane left him and how he coped and what he did with himself for that year and what all his thoughts and feelings were and how he finally redeemed himself. 🙁

    1. Oh no! Thanks for letting me know. 🙁 So sad to hear that. The author was a member of a Toby Stephens fan forum and I was delighted to hear book 2 was coming out, but haven’t visited the site in ages. I believe she posted the whole thing there first, so technically you could still read part 3, but I’m sad it won’t be published officially and that she has left us. RIP fellow Eyre-fan. 🙁

    2. Seems like the publisher is full of bull. Niemann is alive and working on part 3, currently editing. Rumours of her demise are greatly exaggerated – thank heavens! 🙂

  19. Hi there! I found this listing of your quest while searching for opinions about the Chrissy Breen Keeler retelling. (I’m currently enjoying it, but haven’t gotten to the St. John Rivers part yet. That usually makes or breaks retellings.)

    I’m thoroughly excited about the news of _Jane Eyre’s Husband_; it’s currently sitting on my wishlist, waiting for payday.

    I thought I ought to mention a book you don’t have on here but that you might want to include for completeness’ sake. _Wide Sargasso Sea_ is Jane Eyre as told through the eyes of Bertha Mason Rochester. It’s a more ponderous novel, but still quite good. I’d encourage you to check it out.

    1. Oh yeah, I still need to review An American Heir. Umm. I remember thinking it was pretty good, but I’ll have to check my Kindle highlights. That’s the problem, if I don’t write about it soon enough after reading, I completely forget what it was about and what I thought of it.

      Jane Eyre’s Husband is awesome. Hope you’ll enjoy it!

      Wide Sargasso Sea is on there, ya know, bottom of the list of books I’ve read. 😉

  20. You’re welcome, Traxy.

    Here is another. They just keep coming.
    “The First Mrs. Rochester and Her Husband” by M C Smith

  21. I am currently on my own little quest to read Jane Eyre prequels, sequels, spin offs, what have you. Though I am really choosy about it. I actually get inspiration from your list. I of coarse have read JE, and Tara Bradley’s Jane Eyre’s Husband. I just finished Jenna Starborn, and I read it mostly because my husband knows of the author and said she was good. I thought that it stuck to the original plot well and the sic-fi bits that were added in were integrated smoothly. However some of the character names were a little hard to keep up with sometimes. I’m currently reading Ironskin. Hope it turns out well. *Fingers crossed

    1. Glad to hear I’m not alone! 🙂 Haven’t got to Jenna Starborn yet. Currently reading Elizabeth Taylor’s Palladian. Am now on page 60 and think it sounds a bit D.H. Lawrence-y, to be honest, which I’m not too sure about. Ahh, we’ll see. 🙂

  22. I’m a newly minted Jane Eyre fanatic and came across your website. Wowsers didn’t realize there were so many prequels, sequels and retelling. Sounds like my next must read (once I’m done with Wuthering Heights) should be Jane Eyre’s Husband. And by the sound of it, Wide Sargasso Sea would tick me off so I’m staying away. Team Rochester FTW!!!

    1. Yay! Welcome to the fold! 😀

      Hope you’ll enjoy JEH. WSS is a classic, but yeah, it’s not one to go for if you happen to have a higher regard for Mr Rochester than … well, Jean Rhys. 😉

      1. Who is this Jean Rhys and why does she have a chip on her shoulder against Rochester? Is she a mental case or know somebody like that? From what I’ve read, the book sounds disturbing and depressing… not exactly my cup of tea.

          1. Why couldn’t she go after Heathcliff or Mr Darcy? Noooo, it has to be my beloved Mr Rochester. lol

  23. Hi–Your list has helped greatly in my own “quest!” Just wanted to throw out a couple more I just read, if you haven’t heard of them already:
    Eyre House by Cait Greer (modern re-telling, role reversal; I think you can get the e-book free on Goodreads)
    Jane Eyre Austen by Doyle MacBrayne (modern re-telling)
    Thanks for your great list!

  24. I’ve commented before but it’s been a while, BUT! I have a mini quest going on myself. I’ve gotten through the original, DUH!, Tara Bradley’s JEH, Loved it!, Jenna Starborn, Highly recommend, and Iron Skin, Meh, I liked the fairy angle. I’m currently reading My Mr Rochester series, I don’t want to put it down!, and The Memoirs of Edward Rochester, which even though it’s ok, it’s not truly grabbing my attention…I’m a little wary about the erotica type retellings, so I’m saving those for later…I really just wanted to wish you good luck on your own quest and bow to a true master reader, because that…is a lot of books, my friend.

  25. Another I would recommend is “Halton Cray” by N.B. Roberts. This is in the paranormal category, but it’s so well written that I don’t mind. Definite echoes of Jane, but enough of its own story to make it plausible. Very enjoyable read. Available on Kindle.

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