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The novel Jane Eyre is a first-person narrative of the title character. The novel is set somewhere in the north of England, during the reign of George III (1760-1820), and goes through five distinct stages: Jane's childhood at Gateshead Hall, where she is emotionally and physically abused by her aunt and cousins; her education at Lowood School, where she acquires friends and role models but suffers privations and oppression; her time as governess at Thornfield Hall, where she falls in love with her Byronic employer, Edward Rochester; her time with the Rivers family, during which her earnest but cold clergyman cousin, St. John Rivers, proposes to her; and her reunion with, and marriage to, her beloved Rochester.
Charlotte Bronte (1816-1855) grew up in the isolated parsonage at Haworth, Yorkshire, where her father was curate. She and her sisters Emily and Anne thrived in fantasy worlds that drew on their voracious reading of Shakespeare, romantic, and gothic fiction. Charlotte was employed as a teacher and a governess before she began writing with her sisters. The Professor, her first novel, was rejected for publication until 1857, although Jane Eyre, published in 1847 under a pseudonym, achieved great success.