Books Like Jane Eyre
Jane Eyre, which was written by Charlotte Brontë and published in 1847, is a good example of a classic novel that was ahead of its time. The protagonist of the tale is Jane and the story deals with her growing up, becoming an adult and falling in love. The fact that Charlotte wasn't afraid to tackle subjects such as feminism and sexuality made Jane Eyre a controversial book when it was released. However, it also approached other topics, such as class and religion in a way that wasn't done before. Thankfully, over time, readers have come to appreciate the uniqueness of the book and it has been hugely influential. Whether it is one of your favorite tales or you only recently discovered the story and want to experience something similar, don't miss out on the following books like Jane Eyre.
by Charlotte Brontë
Charlotte sadly passed away at a young age, but she did write another novel with similar themes to Jane Eyre, called Villette. It features the same Gothic mysticism as Jane Eyre, while also featuring a female protagonist who has to forge her own path in a world that doesn't care about her plight. One area where Villette delves even deeper than Jane Eyre is the manner in which Charlotte weaved psychological elements into the story. Although Jane Eyre is definitely her most well known and beloved story, Villette is held in even higher esteem by many critics.
by Anne Brontë
Charlotte wasn't the only Brontë with writing talent, so it is no surprise that the debut novel of her sister Anne is also a great read. Agnes Grey is the story of a young woman who is determined to take care of herself when her family experiences financial difficulties. To accomplish this, she sets out to work as a governess for wealthy families, where she is shocked to experience the amount of abuse and oppression that women in her position have to deal with. Like Jane Eyre, Agnes Grey is written from a first person perspective and offers a unique glimpse at the emotional abuse and other types of issues that women faced in less enlightened times.
by Emily Brontë
Just like Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë has gone on to become a classic, despite being very controversial for its time. Like her sister, Emily wasn't afraid to tackle issues such as gender inequality and social classes in her work, which are themes that were not very popular at the time. Both novels contain strong Gothic themes and make use of isolated settings for their stories. In Jane Eyre it is Moor House, and Thornfield, while in Wuthering Heights it is the titular country house. Byronic heroes are also a big part of both books, but Emily picked an even darker path for her story compared to Charlotte.
by Daphne Du Maurier
Although Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier was written in a different time period than Jane Eyre, it still shares some common elements with the Charlotte Brontë classic. Both books not only share gothic themes, but also makes use of supernatural elements to add mystery and suspense to their stories. In addition, both books are about young women who were orphans and had to grow up dealing with their insecurities. The heroines in both books also end up working for people of higher standing before falling in love with much older men. Du Maurier herself had another connection with the Brontë family as she went on to write the non-fiction title, The Infernal World of Branwell Brontë.
by Jane Austin
Jane Austin has written many popular novels in her lifetime and like Charlotte, she was no stranger to criticizing hypocrisy and double standards for women. While novels such as Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice remain her most famous tales, it is her 1817 novel, Northanger Abbey, that shares the most similarities with Jane Eyre. Like Jane Eyre, it is a Gothic novel, but Austen intentionally created it as a satire of this very popular genre. Sadly, despite both women being pioneers in literature, Charlotte wasn't a big fan of Austen, who died when Brontë was one-year old.
by Elizabeth Gaskell
The heroine of Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell is a seventeen-year old girl named Molly Gibson. Her widowed father decides to send her to live with another family to protect her from the romantic interest of his apprentice, but ends up remarrying in her absence. Molly suddenly finds herself with not only a new stepmother, but also a stepsister. This causes a lot of upheaval for Molly, but fortunately she gets along great with her new stepsister. Just like Jane Eyre, Wives and Daughters is a tale of love and family that is also packed with plenty of secrets and mysteries. Elizabeth Gaskell included a nod to Charlotte in the book by naming her governess, Miss Eyre. Like Daphne Du Maurier, Gaskell was also fascinated enough by the Brontë family to publish a biography of Charlotte, called The Life of Charlotte Brontë.