Barker, Juliet R. V. The Brontës. New York: St. Martin’s Press, reprint edition 1996.
Juliet Barker crafted this biography of the Brontë siblings through meticulous research of every extant Brontë manuscript and other primary sources, leading many to consider her work the definitive biography of the family.
Berg, Maggie. Jane Eyre: Portrait of a Life. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1987.
This study guide offers simple literary analysis and historical background on Jane Eyre.
Bloom, Harold, ed. Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre: Modern Critical Interpretations. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1987.
This collection, edited by Harold Bloom, contains many useful pieces of literary criticism that examine the novel and its enduring popularity.
Brontë, Charlotte. Jane Eyre: An Authoritative Text, Backgrounds, Criticism. Richard J. Dunn, ed. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2nd edition 1987.
This edition of Jane Eyre includes literary criticism and essays that provide cultural and historical context to the novel. This version also contains letters between Brontë and her publisher, along with early critical reviews.
Eagleton, Terry. “The Structure of Charlotte Brontë’s Fiction.” In Myths of Power: A Marxist Study of the Brontës. London: Palgrave Macmillan, revised edition 2005.
This scholarly essay examines how Brontë structures her plots to demonstrate power struggles. The rest of the volume similarly looks at the works of all the Brontë siblings through a Marxist lens.
Fraser, Rebecca. The Brontës: Charlotte Brontë and Her Family. New York: Crown Publishers, 1988.
This biography of the Brontë siblings focuses primarily on Charlotte and traces inspirations for her work through her life.
Gates, Barbara Timm, ed. Critical Essays on Charlotte Brontë. Boston: G.K. Hall & Co., 1990.
This collection of essays contains literary criticism on Charlotte Brontë’s work as a whole, and includes many comments specifically on Jane Eyre.
Gilbert, Sandra M. and Susan Gubar, eds. The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Imagination. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, reprint edition 2000.
This classic work of literary criticism uses Bertha Mason, the titular madwoman, as a lens to examine madness in Victorian literature as a feminist response to stifling and oppressive Victorian gender roles.
Gregor, Ian, ed. The Brontës. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1970.
This collection contains essays examining the works of Charlotte and Emily Brontë, with a particular focus on Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights.
Rhys, Jean. Wide Sargasso Sea. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1999.
Jean Rhys wrote this novel as a response to Jane Eyre’s monstrous depiction of Bertha Mason. Rhys’s work has become an important post-colonial and feminist novel in its own right, and follows Mason’s backstory and marriage to Rochester.
Vicinus, Martha, ed. Suffer and Be Still: Women in the Victorian Age. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1973.
This academic text contains ten essays exploring gender roles and the societal expectations placed on women in Victorian England.
Winnifrith, Tom. The Brontës and Their Background: Romance and Reality. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire, UK: Macmillan, 1988.
Tom Winnifrith’s biography of the Brontë sisters endeavors to separate the authors from their work to get to the truth of who they were.
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