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Synopsis

Jane Eyre was sent to Messrs. Smith, Elder in London in August of 1847 and, printers being less busy than they are today, was published in October of that year. It appeared in three volumes, as “An Autobiography. Edited by Currer Bell.” The story is well known, and deservedly so. What has not always been seen, beneath the author's brave and prescient feminism, is the algolagnic or sadomasochistic element at large throughout the narrative. Jane Eyre is profoundly and healthily s-m. It is significant that in Jane's school, Lowood, Charlotte strongly exaggerated the discipline of her model, Cowan Bridge School (the Bronte Society having recently reprinted the 1830 Report of this establishment “for Clergymen's Daughters"). The tale starts with the unpleasant bullying scene by John Reed, proceeds to the red room section (oddly anticipatory of La Chambre jaune of Jacques Descroix), and then takes Jane to Lowood where almost the first thing the heroine sees is Helen Burns birched.

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