I have just started reading this again. My class studied it at school for O level about thirty years ago, but I don't think I actually read much of it. I think I read some study notes instead. Still got a C.
My first impressions after reading the first couple of chapters:
- The preface is amusing. Charlotte starts by thanking her readers, admiring critics and publishers. Then she goes on a tirade against her detractors, particularly those she thought were being sanctimonious and pious. She finishes the preface by praising William Thackeray as if she were a teenage girl.
- The first chapter made me feel uncomfortable, reminding me how I used to bully my brother. At least I didn't kill birds.
- I thought Jane comparing her cousin to a Roman emperor was a strange insult. I seem to remember our English teacher commenting on that.
- I was amused by her cousin's use of the expression, 'Where the dickens is she?' The first edition was published in 1947, at which point I suppose Dickens was half way through his career.
- I came across two words I didn't know: captious and bourne. Captious is a good word. It means 'tending to find fault or raise petty objections'. Bourne means destination, goal or boundary.