One of the blogs I follow, because it’s a brilliant place to get updates on anything to do with the Brontës or their works, is the BrontëBlog. They don’t just post about upcoming movie or TV adaptations, they also tell you about things like books about the Brontës, new editions of their books and – crucially when you’ve set yourself the nigh impossible task of reading everything to do with Jane Eyre – upcoming novels by modern authors who have done their takes on the classical story.
Today, I spotted a few upcoming novels and on closer inspection, they are all to do with Jane Eyre, yay! Here’s a chronological rundown:
The Truth About Jane Eyre by Beth Pattillo (winter 2011)
Seeing as how Beth Pattillo has written books such as Jane Austen Ruined My Life and Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart, might this book possibly be something along the lines of those? There is no info about this particular book yet, but as soon as I hear anything, I’ll let you know!
The Hierophant by Michael Shilling (2011?)
The only info I can find is this, from his publisher’s website:
He is currently working on a novel that takes place in England during the late 1820s, a drama that he describes, roughly, as Jane Eyre meets The Wire.
If you’re currently looking like it’s the most ridiculous idea ever, settle down, there’s also an interview with him there, where he goes into more detail:
I’m writing a novel set at the crossroads of Regency and Victorian England — the late 1820s — involving some of the characters and incidents from Jane Eyre and set at Thornfield Hall, but existing in a completely different narrative context with a whole new cast of strivers, connivers, grotesques, and romantics. I am trying to combine the dark fairy-tale fabulism of Angela Carter with the plot driven, hard- boiled push- and- shove of James Ellroy, all the while keeping in mind British class dynamics to create, as Ellroy called it, a reckless verisimilitude. The beauty of a story like this is connecting the desires and motivations of all the characters — from the lowest scullery maid to Rochester himself — while keeping the plot organic and fluid. It’s a large undertaking, but I like a challenge. If I go down in flames, at least it’ll be in a blaze of glory.
It can go two ways, I’d say. Very good, or very bad. I’m hoping it won’t be the latter. Kudos for being a bloke – the vast majority of the Jane Eyre-inspired books are written by women. Jasper Fforde a notable (and oh so agreeable) exception.
A Breath of Eyre by Eve Marie Mont (April 2012)
Eva Marie Mont‘s take on Jane Eyre will be for young adults (YA), and it will be the first in a trilogy. The concept behind it (I need to check if it’s okay to share and if it is, will update this post) actually sounds really intriguing and I can’t wait to read it! Fingers crossed that it’ll be great, because I’d love to read the sequels too.
Ironskin by Tina Connolly (Early 2012)
Jane Eliot wears an iron mask.
It’s the only way to contain the fey curse that scars her cheek. The Great War is five years gone, but its scattered victims remain — the ironskin.
Now Jane returns to the war-torn country to help a fey-cursed child. Helping the unruly Dorie suppress her curse is hard enough — she certainly didn’t expect to fall for the girl’s father, the enigmatic artist Mr. Rochart. But her blossoming crush is stifled by her own scars, and by his parade of women. Ugly women, who enter his closed studio — and come out as beautiful as the fey.
Jane knows he cannot love her, just as she knows that she must wear iron for the rest of her life. But what if neither of these things are true? Step by step Jane must unlock the secrets of her new life — and discover just how far she will go to become whole again.
Pick yourself off the floor, for goodness sake! Remember, there has already been a Jane Eyre in space (Jenna Starborn, which I’ve got but not read yet), so there’s no reason there can’t also be a steampunk version too. 😛 Again, this could be excellent, or it could go horribly wrong. Time will tell. (There should be a fantasy version too, I reckon. … Oooh. *realises what she’s just written and how it goes together with something she realised over a year ago that she wanted to read* Oh, well, now that’s an idea. I call dibs!)