Charlotte Bronte, 1847
I first read Jane Eyre when I was quite young – possibly the same age as Jane when the book begins. As with countless other readers, I was enthralled.
Although this is not the first Gothic romance, Jane Eyre certainly sets the Gothic standard. As with many classic Gothic romances – especially those written in the early 19th century – the love interest is brooding, confident, and tortured. He is also a jerk sometimes, and perhaps if your child is reading this book a conversation about the roles of men and women in that time would be in order. That conversation could include the fact that Jane does not cower before Mr. Rochester; nor does she betray her own rules of conduct in the face of near-insurmountable adversity at any point in the book.
There are many movie adaptations of this story.