READ TO ME from... JANE EYRE by Charlotte Brontë

Do you already have a copy of JANE EYRE? What’s your cover?   Buy here   if your library needs this hefty classic.

Do you already have a copy of JANE EYRE? What’s your cover? Buy here if your library needs this hefty classic.

What did you love?

What phrases let into Jane’s mind? What made you to understand the nature of St. John?

Where did color or movement attract you?

Did you hear the adjectives and adverbs, too?

Where did you stop listening because you wanted to stay in that moment more?

What did you love?


By the white roof…



In this episode, to the moors, to the moors we go! O, romantic and foreboding mists! O fierce upwelling of green! O proto-feminism, mettle, and a singular communion with God! O, O, Jane Eyre!

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It rains while I write.

My new studio overlooks the wide, flat, white roof of the establishment closest mine, and the window, abjuring screen, is open to the rain that drips as pale beads.

Damp and cool, the water gives September's natural susurration: summer is gone, fall, fall, summer is closed, killing cold comes, we fall.

Doesn't that sound like something the girl on this cover of JANE EYRE might write?

I don't think Jane herself would, or not the Jane we meet in Episode 17.

Our Jane is tough. Impassioned. A woman. A disciple of truth as accords with her soul and her mind.

Not anyone else's — not Rochester, not Mrs. Reed, not St. John. Not even God. Her mind is her instrument of discernment.

I love such a mind. This is the mind that swells to meet us in Episode 17, as Jane is pressed to yield her sovereignty to a religious man — or heed and hold supreme the call she hears alone.

(Reading Jane Eyre aloud is like getting to be a passionate, eternal opera star for 10 minutes. SO MUCH FUN. Please, try it at home.)

Have you read Jane Eyre? Have you read it as an adult? Do you know the passage I read, at the tail-end of Chapter 35?

(TIP: The passage starts slow. It then explodes. Hang in there. It's worth it.)

I must here tell you that the episode's several inspirations also possess Jane Eyre minds. 

First, listener Gwendolyn A., who suggested the book and passage. What a gift you gave me and us, Gwendolyn! Thank you for this tremendous fun (I think you can hear it in my voice). Thank you for your passion for the page and for your excellent taste. Thank you for listening.

Second, my friend Emily Bass is brilliant. That is a fact to know. Additionally, she shared some wisdom from her beloved writing teacher, Louise DeSalvo, about reading and listening, and quite without plan, that wisdom showed up in the episode. Thank you, Em, for sharing a piece of Louise's teaching with me and us. (Professor DeSalvo just won an American Book Award, by the bye.)

Oh, my friends. May our minds quiver and our souls blaze in our ascendency. This one is so much fun.