Bronteana: Bronte Studies Blog Archives

April 19, 2006


Filed under: Anecdotes,Bronteana,Jane Eyre,Jane Eyre (BBC 2006),Productions — by bronteana @ 11:31 pm

Down, superstition! I mean… paranoia!

Well, I've thought a little about what this 'visionary John Eshton' we heard about in the BBC press release for their new Jane Eyre could possibly mean, and in the process I have alarmed myself. This will hopefully be an amusing rant to look back on later, when we have seen the production and can laugh at my unfounded fears and paranoia. Nevertheless, here's my case:

Now, there is indeed a Mr.Eshton in Jane Eyre. I wasn't sure what his first name was, when Bronteana reader Mysticgypsy asked me if there was indeed a John Eshton, so I looked in the concordance. Jane never tells us Mr. Eshton's name. So, they gave him one; no problem there. But, there is a problem. This is how Jane describes Mr. Eshton:

Mr. Eshton, the magistrate of the district, is gentleman-like: his hair is quite white, his eyebrows and whiskers still dark, which gives him something of the appearance of a "pere noble de theatre."

Mr. Eshton will be played by Aidan McArdle, who is only one year younger than Toby Stephens, who is playing Mr Rochester. Adding characters is nothing new, but it is very strange that this John Eshton would get such high billing- over Bertha, Adele and St.John. I know that Sam Hoare has been listed as being in the production vaguely, we have no idea who he is playing; it seems likely he could be St.John Rivers but there's no confirmation on this. This is the scary bit for me… St.John could be described as visionary in a sense. Have they done away with him? Have they replaced him? I shudder to think. It has been done before, but generally it ends up impoverishing the whole production. The 1857 Jane Eyre had one of the guests flirt with Jane, but… no, no. I hope this is all just an 'idle terror.'

Unless they mean 'visionary' in the sense Mr Rochester once used it ('visionary woe'), then that would be about right- since 'John Eshton' doesn't exist!



  1. Maybe they just made a mistake and meant St John, not John Eshton.

    Comment by siansaksa — April 20, 2006 @ 2:34 am |Reply

  2. The only trouble there is that he is listed in the credits on more than one source as being Mr Eshton. Still, I’m willing to entertain any ideas less horrific than mine. 😉

    Comment by Brontëana — April 20, 2006 @ 8:05 am |Reply

  3. Noooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!! They wouldn’t dare!!! At least, I have to hope that they wouldn’t dare!

    Comment by rinabeana — April 20, 2006 @ 9:21 am |Reply

  4. Aw, poor St.John 😉

    Comment by Brontëana — April 20, 2006 @ 12:23 pm |Reply

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