First Lines Wednesday – Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre (Penguin Classics: 2006, 9780141441146)

“There was no possibility of taking a walk that day. We had been wandering, indeed, in the leafless shrubbery an hour in the morning; but since dinner (Mrs. Reed, when there was no company, dined early) the cold winter wind had brought with it clouds so sombre, and a rain so penetrating, that further outdoor exercise was now out of the question.”

First Lines Wednesday – this is when I will be celebrating memorable first lines from beloved novels and poems.

The first lines of Jane Eyre are a classic example of using the weather to reflect a character’s mood, and in this instance paints the picture of Jane’s dreary and lonely childhood beautifully. This technique is probably a little outdated today, but here it has remained timeless and the perfect start to this enduring Bildungsroman that I think is many people’s gateway novel to classic literature.

I love this @penguinclassics edition and, as you can tell from the state of the cover, have gone back to it many times over the years.

Do you have any favourite first lines? Or a “gateway” novel?

2 thoughts on “First Lines Wednesday – Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

  1. My favourite first line is: “Mrs Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.”
    Personally, I find it very inspiring, as I can relate to the joy of a shopping trip to get some flowers.

    Also, I think it sets the tone for what is to come beautifully.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My #1 favourite first lines are also from Mrs Dalloway and will definitely be making an appearance on the blog at some point!

      It does set the tone for the book, and I think Virginia Woolf conveys the ecstatic joy and excitement we get from those first lines in all her writing like no one else.

      Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 2 people

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