|Jane Eyre is a novel by English writer Charlotte Brontë. It was published on 16 October 1847 by Smith, Elder & Co. of London, England, under the pen name "Currer Bell".
Primarily of the bildungsroman genre, Jane Eyre follows the emotions and experiences of its eponymous character, including her growth to adulthood, and her love for Mr. Rochester, the byronic master of fictitious Thornfield Hall. In its internalization of the action—the focus is on the gradual unfolding of Jane's moral and spiritual sensibility and all the events are colored by a heightened intensity that was previously the domain of poetry—the novel revolutionized the art of fiction. Charlotte Brontë has been called the 'first historian of the private consciousness' and the literary ancestor of writers like Joyce and Proust. The novel contains elements of social criticism, with a strong sense of morality at its core, but is nonetheless a novel many consider ahead of its time given the individualistic character of Jane and the novel's exploration of classism, sexuality, religion, and proto-feminism.
- The 1st edition, published in three-volume novel format on 16 October 1847 by Smith, Elder & Co. of London, England. (Volume 1 transcription project, Volume 2 transcription project, Volume 3 transcription project)
- The 2nd edition, published later in 1847
- The 1st American edition, published in 1848 by Harper and Brothers, New York.
- The 3rd edition, published in 1851. This is the last edition to be published in the author's lifetime and thus have the benefit of the author's corrections. Most modern-day 'authoritative' editions are based on this edition.
- A c. 1900 edition published by W. Nicholson & Sons, London