Jane Eyre

why jane read Berwick's History of British Birds book

what she thought about it ? and why she only prefer this book ?

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I don't know if this is the reason she LOVED the book, but I believe this is a very interesting perspective on the author's use of the book and what it symbolized in specific passages.

Several scholars have noted Charlotte Bronte's fascinating use of Thomas Bewick's History of British Birds in her 1847 novel, Jane Eyre. (1) Among other roles in Jane Eyre, Bewick's History of British Birds serves as an abusive missile (thrown by John Reed at ten-year-old Jane), as Jane's fantasy retreat from the difficult Reed home, and as a model for Jane's later artwork. Similarly, Jane and Rochester perceive each other in avian terms, Jane as "linnet," "dove," and "skylark" and Rochester as "eagle" and "falcon." While links have been observed between the innovative wood engravings of History of British Birds (1797 and 1804)2 and Jane's elaborate paintings of stormy seas, drowned women, and icy realms, two important thematic and structural connections with Bewick's text have been overlooked. First, the novel's ornithological imagery contributes more than just completing the realism of the natural scenery. Rather, pervasive and integrated references to birds add a deeper, personal symbolic dimension to the novel's portrait of Jane Eyre and illuminate complex facets of Jane's identity, especially when read in terms of Bewick's species accounts of the cormorant and the rook. Second, for Bronte's work, History of British Birds offers a model for integrating seemingly marginal material into the body of a work through the device of the "vignette." Vignettes are the ornaments or small pictures running through books that Bewick helped to popularize as a form of illustration earlier in the nineteenth century. In Jane Eyre, the verbal vignette serves as a narrative strategy for incorporating Jane's potentially explosive passions, passions noted by many scholars as symptoms of Victorian restrictions on women's ambitions and desires (Jane's love for Rochester, and her ambitions beyond her station as governess the most prominent).



Actually, Jane does not care for the book that much but she does find the introductory notes quite interesting. She seemed to be more interested in the geography part of it than anything else,

"I returned to my book--Bewick's History of British Birds: the

letterpress thereof I cared little for, generally speaking; and yet

there were certain introductory pages that, child as I was, I could

not pass quite as a blank....Nor could I pass unnoticed the suggestion of the bleak shores of

Lapland, Siberia, Spitzbergen, Nova Zembla, Iceland, Greenland, with

"the vast sweep of the Arctic Zone."