Emma Woodhouse has a rigid sense of propriety as regards matrimonial alliances. Unfortunately she insists on matchmaking for her less forceful friend, Harriet, and so causes her to come to ... See full summary »
Jane Eyre is an orphan cast out as a young girl by her aunt, Mrs. Reed, and sent to be raised in a harsh charity school for girls. There she learns to become a teacher and eventually seeks ... See full summary »
Eight years earlier, Anne Elliot, the daughter of a financially troubled aristocratic family, was persuaded to break off her engagement to Frederick Wentworth, a young seaman, who, though ... See full summary »
Emma Woodhouse seems to be perfectly content, a loving father whom she cares for, friends, and a home. But Emma has a terrible habit - matchmaking. She cannot resist finding suitors for her... See full summary »
Jonny Lee Miller
Widow Dashwood and her three unmarried daughters, Elinor, Marianne and Margaret, inherit only a tiny allowance. So they move out of their grand Sussex home to a more modest cottage in ... See full summary »
So you were waiting for your people when I saw you in the land.
For whom sir?
For the men in green. It was a proper moonlit evening for them. Did I break through one of your rings that you spread that damned ice on the causeway?
The men in green all forsook England a hundred years ago. Not even in Hay Lane or the fields about it would you find a trace of them. I don't think summer, harvest, or winter moon will ever shine on their revels more.
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I'm bursting with repletion: I don't care if they never make another version or if they make a hundred versions of "Jane Eyre." I'll watch this one for the rest of my life. I got my very own copy of it in the mail today. I'm glad I hadn't been aware of its existence until two months ago. I don't think I would have survived without it for 35 years. It is the only version that truly respects the genius in Charlotte Bronte's writing, and doesn't presume to improve or interpret it.
Other reviewers have already used the very words I wanted to use to describe this brilliant dramatization. Michael Jayston is the only actor who seems to have taken the trouble to read the book and all its finer points: his portrayal displays all the moods and traits in just the right tone and force of feeling. Sorcha Cusack is adorable and dignified; the language of her eyes is easily interpreted by Jayston's Rochester. All the other actors are also perfect impersonations. If only we could give them a charm or a philter to make them look young again - we would make them re-film the complete dialogues.
Admittedly, I didn't at first take to this version. The script is faithful to the book (as I soon found by re-reading all the scenes), but I deemed the acting too theatrical, the outdoor sets too one-dimensional; and Michael Jayston's looks were not to my taste. On second viewing I found that the acting matched exactly Charlotte Bronte's narrative. The third viewing proved that a loving eye is all the charm needed to endear Rochester's looks to me. (I have now copied a picture of Jayston's Rochester as a computer background, and I look out for his appearance in re-runs of "Darling Buds of May" and "Foyle's War.")
Most importantly, this is the effect the superb interpretation of this version had on me: it re-transformed me from India-rubber back to flesh. Over the years of my mid-life crisis I ceased to believe in any form of love. Humanity, to me, seemed one mass of bad, hard-hearted individuals. JE 73 has opened new meaning and deepened my understanding of what Charlotte Bronte had really wanted to say in her novel. I had always considered her book to be my manifesto since teenage years - now it has become a revelation to me, has opened the doors of the soul's cell.
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