“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 This technique is probably a little outdated today, but here it has remained timeless and the perfect start to this enduring Bildungsroman that I think is many people’s gateway novel to classic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?