Meg will consider the complex and contradictory ways Jane Eyre has been read, loved and debated over time. Considering in turn Victorian editors who assumed the author (“Currer Bell”) was a man; 1970s feminist scholars who saw Jane as a powerful feminist role model; Marxist academics who championed her working-class story; psychoanalytical critics who read Jane Eyre as a story of thwarted sexual desire and madness; post-colonial critics horrified at Jane’s collusion in Rochester’s silencing and destruction of his Creole first wife, Bertha Mason, we will explore the divisive, controversial and always fascinating Jane Eyre: An Autobiography.
Dr Meg Jensen is Associate Professor of English Literature and Creative Writing and Director of the Life Narrative Research Group at Kingston University, London. She has published widely on the complex relationship between memory, trauma, the autobiographical and the advancement of human rights. Her most recent publication is The Art and Science of Trauma and the Autobiographical: Negotiated Truths (2019), for the Palgrave Studies in Life Writing Series.