Jane Eyre was one of the first historical romances I read, and when I picked up the novel, the only knowledge I had of the story was the book I held my hand. I had no idea what to expect.
The early scenes of the book concerning Jane Eyre’s childhood were dismal to me, and I forged ahead only because I had nothing else to read at the time. The last third enthralled me, however. I did enjoy the love story with a dash of mystery, although even in my teen years, I wasn’t quite sure of the character of a married hero proposing to the heroine, especially after he’d kept his first wife hidden away. I recommended the book to my mother and she practically shuddered. She’d been forced to read it in high school and had reacted much the same to it as Miss Brontë did with her governess posts.
Charlotte Brontë did have a romance near the end of her life. A man she didn’t love asked her to become his wife, and she did. Her affection for him flourished in the short time they were married, and I believe she was more adored by her dear Arthur than Jane ever was by Rochester.