Bronteana: Bronte Studies Blog Archives

July 11, 2006


Filed under: Uncategorized — by bronteana @ 12:50 pm

Bronte News

Here we have a slightly lopsided review of Milwaukee’s Acacia production of Jane Eyre: The Musical. The review is substantially positive but apparently the reviewer’s personal vision of Rochester wasn’t met and so the review ends on a sour note (they were anticipating ‘a raging Titan like Heathcliff’). Well, personally I would laugh at a raging Titanesque Heathcliffy Rochester. Tastes differ?

Paula Rego’s famous prints of Jane Eyre go on exhibit in Yorkshire.

A new club for ‘Bronte enthusiasts’ in the North Kirklees area, lead by Imelda Marsden who has been compiling information on the Bronte’s extended family for a book recently published. Anyone interested in attending this appreciative club can contact her at: 01924 519370



  1. hmm why was he of the opinion that Rochester should be like Heathcliff I wonder?

    Granted,there are similiarites, but it wouldn’t be fair to either character to be thought of as the other.

    Comment by mysticgypsy — July 11, 2006 @ 4:22 pm |Reply

  2. I can’t say. But I do see the sentiment a lot. It is extremely common. No one seems to confuse Heathcliff with Rochester but many believe Rochester and Heathcliff are basically the same character, and I think this idea goes back a few decades at least. I have a recording of ‘Devotion’ which is an awful story based- very loosely based- on the lives of Emily and Charlotte. The story revolves around both of them falling in love with Mr. Nicholls. At one point Branwell reads Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre, then tells Emily and Charlotte that they are ‘both in love with the same man.’

    I recall that my professor even, during a lecture said that there was a scene in Jane Eyre were Rochester is holding Jane so tightly that he leaves a mark. (In fact, Jane does this in the carriage scene! 😉 And it isn’t going away either. The Literary Misfits’ show featuring Jane Eyre had a Rochester who WAS Heathcliff- even down to having two scarling dogs which he lets loose on anyone visiting the house. (I think they also said that his legs were the size of trees! hahahah!)

    Comment by Brontëana — July 12, 2006 @ 12:58 am |Reply

  3. Seen in a certain light, we might indeed find some similarities between Rochester and Heathcliff (now that you raised the question): Rochester is the more human and kinder version of Heathcliff 🙂 Both are madly in love and both are ready to anything for their loved one.

    I remember some passage from JE when Rochester’s “cruelty” is emphasized: “At the churchyard wicket he stopped: he discovered I was quite out of breath. “AM I CRUEL IN MY LOVE?” he said. “Delay an instant: lean on me, Jane.””
    And then the departure scene, when features like irritation, violence, rage, etc., are described. These might be sufficient similarities for some people. Personally I have never liked Heathcliff much, while I found Rochester to be a really fascinating character. I could never imagine Rochester marrying for revenge and making another (innocent) one to suffer for his errors as Heathcliff does with Linton’s sister.

    Comment by siansaksa — July 13, 2006 @ 8:40 am |Reply

  4. to siansaska:

    No, they really aren’t interchangable, as you point out. The ‘cruelty’ of walking fast is a far cry from what Heathcliff does to Isabella. People tend to forget that for most of the book he is rational and composed- he doesn’t rage around Thornfield all day.

    Comment by Brontëana — July 13, 2006 @ 11:14 am |Reply

  5. They both do share some similarities, but this is mainly due to their Byronic character traits.

    Comment by marshalsea — July 13, 2006 @ 11:48 am |Reply

  6. to marshalsea:

    That’s probably one reason for it. I’ve never found Rochester’s ‘Bryonism’ to be strong, though. It has always seemed to be less than a facade, a sort of …impression.

    Comment by Brontëana — July 13, 2006 @ 12:06 pm |Reply

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