Bronteana: Bronte Studies Blog Archives

January 12, 2006

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Filed under: Bronteana — by bronteana @ 12:11 am

"Monsieur de Rochester!" and iJane!

Somehow, when I posted about this Florida production of Jane Eyre the Musical awhile ago, I neglected to pick up on a few interesting items in the plot synopsis! But never to fear, Mrs. Dionysus O' Gall has set me straight:

JANE EYRE is a haunting musical retelling of the Charlotte Bronte classic about an orphan girl who grows up to become the governess of Thornfield Hall. There she meets and falls in love with the enigmatic Edward Rochester, an Earl with a dark secret. Having overcome the obstacles brought on by an abusive childhood, the death of a childhood friend and the prejudice inherent in a relationship between two people socially worlds apart, Jane marries Rochester. Her wedding day is marred when she discovers his secret! Filled with soaring melodies and a romantic lyricism uncommon in the modern Broadway musical, Jane Eyre is a sweeping love story, breath-taking in its scope and beauty.

To be fair, there's a lyric from the show's song 'The Gypsy' where we get to hear Rochester's insinuations of his financial shortcomings to Miss Ingram that would might an innocent reviewer astray:

I see a man in your future, my dear!
O, sister!
A penniless snake you mistake for an earl!

In a history lecture I attended this evening, the professor mentioned as an aside how commoners in France often prefixed their surnames with 'de' to sound like aristocracy. In effect, Adele insists on referring to her 'friend' as 'my lord Rochester.' So, can we really complain? Maybe? No?

Aristocratic Rochester has a long history, going right back to the very first film of Jane Eyre (and possible to the Victorian stage adaptations). Mario Caserini produced the first JE film in 1910, and listed in the credits is, lo! "Lord Rochester." (I would have loved to see this! I am quite a Caserini fan. Alas!)

ETA: Sorry- forgot the second half of this post! Esther, one of your fellow readers, has taken four of the mpegs I posted last month or so and converted them to an iPOD format. I know nothing about iPODS, but here's the file!

iJane

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