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Jane Eyre, Superstar: From Brontë to Fukunaga

Posted February 17, 2011 to photo album "Jane Eyre, Superstar: From Brontë to Fukunaga"

Since Charlotte Brontë brought her heroine to life in 1847, everyone––filmmakers, artists, playwrights, cartoonists––have wanted to recreate her in their own imagination.

Jane: For the 21st Century
Jane as Orphan
Jane: A Story for Every Generation
Jane: The Passion of the Fans
Jane: A Proto Marxist?
Jane: On the Stage
Jane: A Poor Person's Passion
Jane: A Working-Class Hero
Jane: A Drawing Room Romance
Jane: The Matinee Idol
Jane: A Horror Drama
Jane: Strong, But Reserved
Jane: A Thoroughly Modern Heroine
Jane: Without Jane
Jane: A Zombie Jane
Jane: A Graphic Approach
Jane: A Comical Turn
Jane: A Teen Dream
Jane: For Every Artist
Jane: For Every Imagination
Jane: Stamps of Approval
Jane: Everlasting
Jane as Orphan

Jane as Orphan

Charlotte Brontë in 1843; Superman first appearance in 1938

Jane Eyre. An Autobiography, the novel by an obscure writer Currer Bell (male nom de plume of Charlotte Brontë, 1816-855), caused a sensation when it was published in 1847. (“A book to make the pulses gallop and the heart beat, and to fill the eyes with tears,” is how one reviewer put it at the time.) In the century and a half since, Jane Eyre, the orphan heroine of the novel, has become more than a cultural icon. Like Clark Kent, the orphan hero of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster’s Superman comic book (1938), Charlotte Brontë’s Jane, has become a brand. Both have also inspired a genre—Superman the now ubiquitous superhero (think Spiderman and Batman) and Jane Eyre the young-woman-of-spirit-but-no-means-who-captures-and-tames-the-heart-of-a-wealthy-man (think Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, which was based on Jane Eyre, or Pretty Woman, which was not.).