by Charlotte Bronte & Meg Cabot
From the Publisher
In conjunction with the New York Public Library, Doubleday is proud to introduce a very special collector's series of literary masterpieces. Lavishly illustrated with rare archival material from the library's extensive resources, including the renowned Berg collection, these editions will bring the classics to life for a new generation of readers. In addition to original artwork, each volume contains a fascinating selection of unique materials such as handwritten diaries, letters, manuscripts, and notebooks. Simply put, this series presents the work of our most beloved authors in what may well be their most beautiful editions, perfect to own or to give. Published on the occasion of Doubleday's 100th birthday, the New York Public Library Collector's Editions are sure to become an essential part of the modern book lover's private library.
Our edition of Madame Bovary, which Vladimir Nabokov called "one of the most perfect pieces of poetical fiction known", features etchings from a rare 1905 French edition and a sampling of Nabokov's handwritten commentary on Flaubert's work. These rare materials from the archives of the New York Public Library will make our edition stand out from all other available versions.
Early responses to Jane Eyre, first published in 1847, were mixed. Some held the book to be anti-Christian, others were disturbed by a heroine so proud, self-willed, and essentially unfeminine. The modern reader may well have trouble understanding what all the fuss was about. On the surface a fairly conventional Gothic romance (poor orphan governess is hired by rich, brooding Byronic hero-type), Jane Eyre hardly seems the stuff from which revolutions are made. But the story is very much about the nature of human freedom and equality, and if Jane was seen as something of a renegade in nineteenth-century England, it is because her story is that of a woman who struggles for self-definition and determination in a society that too often denies her that right. But self-determination does not mean untrammeled freedom for men or women. Rochester, that thorny masculine beast whom Jane eventually falls for, is a man who sets his own laws and manipulates the lives of those around him; before he can enter into a marriage of equals with Jane he must undergo a spiritual transformation. Should the lesson sound dry, it's not. Jane Eyre is full of drama: fires, storms, attempted murder, and a mad wife conveniently stashed away in the attic. This is very sexy stuff.