To Charlotte Bronte enthusiasts, Jane Eyre, is one of the greatest novels of the nineteenth century written by a women. Jane Eyre, is the tale of a young orphan who suffers a number of unfortunate events before she takes up a governess position in adulthood, only to fall in love with her employer, the dark and impassioned Mr Rochester. The novel is only rivalled in popularity by writers like Jane Austen.
Charlotte Bronte’s first attempt to become a published author was with The Professor but the manuscript was rejected by many publishing houses including Smith, Elder and Co. However, George Smith, a young gentleman who had just taken over as publisher from his father at Smith and Elder saw something impressive in Bronte’s works. In August 1847, Smith wrote suggesting that if she wrote something in three volumes it “would [be met] with careful attention”. It is clear Bronte was up to the challenge as by October the same year she had sent Smith the 824 page manuscript of Jane Eyre. Shortly after receiving the manuscript George wrote that ‘After breakfast on Sunday morning I took the manuscript of Jane Eyre to the library and began to read it. The story quickly took me captive.’ Turning the final sheet later that night Bronte’s publisher said ‘My literary judgement was perfectly satisfied’; the rest is literary history!
In December 2016 Editions Des Saints Pres, an independent publishing house based in Paris, saw an opportunity to present Jane Eyre to admirers of the novel in a new and unique way. The publishers have reproduced this fair copy manuscript in three beautifully bound hard back volumes and presented in a delux slipcase. The limited edition facsimile of the manuscript (only 1000 copies have been printed) is revealing in that it demonstrates just how determined Bronte must have been to become a successful published author. It’s elegantly hand written with very few corrections. Revisions that have been made are noted as being mainly centred on Bronte’s portrayal of Jane’s encounters with Rochester’. The books also contain etchings by Edmund Garrett from an 1897 edition of the Novel.
Jane Eyre (Manuscrit) (3 Volumes Dans un Coffret) Hardcover
Published: 2 Dec 2016 – Éditions des Saints Pères