Bronteana: Bronte Studies Blog Archives

September 16, 2006


First Fan-Review of Jane Eyre 2006

Laura wrote in to Bronteblog where she had won tickets to the screening this evening of the first two episodes of the BBC series. There isn’t much that we did not surmise from the preview clips so far, but there are some particular observations of the acting of the leads:

The foremost thing I took away from the preview was that Ruth Wilson was an absolute delight as Jane. She brought a lot of natural charm to the part and although her performance was subtle, the viewer is left in no doubt of what she is feeling in each scene. In my eyes, she has provided the best performance yet for this character. Ruth’s Jane is full of humanity, soul and honesty and she instantly wins your sympathy.


Mr Rochester is one of my favourite characters; he is enigmatic, charming, unpredictable, outspoken and sometimes even manipulative. As you all know, there are many layers to his persona, but Toby seems to have struggled with capturing all of these idiosyncrasies and instead gives (in the first episode at least) what seems to be quite a black and white account. When not being overly gruff, his manner often seems affected and it even comes across that he is not taking the character very seriously…He improves, however, in the second hour, helped along by the fact that he smirks a lot less and is perhaps not quite so sarcastic. It also doesn’t do any harm that he is, indeed, partially shirtless in one of the scenes… (Mr Darcy, eat your heart out 😉

The rest of the review is available here. The rest of the review harmonises well with my own opinions on what I have seen as well. Rochester is an incredibly complicated character, and I truly pity any actor who takes him on. It doesn’t sound like he fares too badly, however. It sounds like he has given the character scope to develop and probably that would continue into the remaining episodes. I don’t recall coming across a predominantly sarcastic protrayal, but the sarcasm is a part of the character (often describes in the novel as sardonic).



  1. Shirtless! I knew it!! (You can catch a glimpse of it in the trailer – of course I am delighted to hear it confirmed!) Mr. Darcy eat your heart out indeed.

    Keeping my fingers crossed that Toby’s performance, when viewed in full, is up to scratch. I sort of love him, and will be terribly disappointed if his Rochester is “black and white” – oh, say it isn’t so!

    I am delighted to hear the Ruth’s Jane is convincing and moving. It’s funny, isn’t it, that somehow all the Janes in film adaptations are sort of brushed aside and forgotten – it’s the Rochesters that are always remembered. Hopefully this time we will have a Jane that no one forgets!

    Comment by starboarder — September 16, 2006 @ 10:37 pm |Reply

  2. it’s the Rochesters that are always remembered.

    That’s because most of the novel’s fans are female 😉

    Comment by mysticgypsy — September 16, 2006 @ 11:00 pm |Reply

  3. The report on the music score sounds promising.

    Comment by ChrisV — September 17, 2006 @ 12:50 am |Reply

  4. to Starboarder:

    Would that be the bedroom fire scene? Presumaly he would be soaked with water shortly as well. I have a post here somewhere from when I was considering the BBC series of P&P and realised that it really is something Charlotte would do rather than Jane Austen (I then counted 4 times when Mr Rochester gets soaked in the novel!).

    Same here. I have really warmed to the new ‘interview’ scene. I think he changes quite a bit in that one clip alone. He’s very blunt, cynical, brusque and rude to start. But towards the end he seems genuinely concerned that Jane is alone in the world- hifting between sensitivity and cynicism. I like it. In the trailer he seems to have moments where he’s very genial so I’m not concerned, really.

    I certainly remember them! But we haven’t really had memorable performances from our Janes. They’ve been good for the most part but nothing brilliant so far.

    Comment by Brontëana — September 17, 2006 @ 7:23 am |Reply

  5. to mysticgypsy:

    I know a man who had a crush on Jane Eyre!

    Comment by Brontëana — September 17, 2006 @ 7:24 am |Reply

  6. to chrisv:

    I thought the music from the Hay Lane scene was excellent, and made the production seem more like a film rather than a television series.

    Comment by Brontëana — September 17, 2006 @ 7:26 am |Reply

  7. Jane Eyre is one of my favorite books and my favorite Jane Eyre movie was with George C. Scott in the 1970’s. My sister and I loved that movie but now this miniseries takes the cake. At first, I wasn’t convinced with Toby, I felt he was initially too handsome for the part but then he created the broodiness, angst and charm of Mr. Rochester. He is the best Rochester thus far! I’ve seen Hurt, Hands etc..but he is the best. Ruth Wilson, is excellent as well. She became more appealing as the movie went on and it was just a great love story. This is a must see!

    Comment by Lisa — March 2, 2007 @ 12:02 am |Reply

  8. thanks…

    Comment by music man — April 3, 2007 @ 1:39 pm |Reply

  9. Best Greetings from Germany!

    Comment by Musik - Master — October 26, 2007 @ 9:11 pm |Reply

  10. I personally disliked this movie, mainly because they left out so much from the book. I don’t remember which year it was put out, but there was a much older BBC version that I definitely preferred.

    Comment by Alia — March 17, 2008 @ 3:09 pm |Reply

  11. Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation 🙂 Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Restitutive!

    Comment by Restitutive — June 19, 2008 @ 12:23 pm |Reply

  12. I just finished watching the whole series – a couple of years late, but finding some comments about Mr. Toby Stephens, who I am not a fan of until now, to be really disappointing. He was just excellent as Rochester and he was especially moving in the scene where he discovered that Jane has indeed returned.

    Maybe it is because most people have known him as a “hot guy” that they had already that thought. I love his portrayal and agree that this is the best.

    Comment by Ana — April 25, 2012 @ 10:14 am |Reply

  13. One thought: you’ll need some protection against comment spam, either the captcha (like at blogger), moderation, or a preview button that has to be us Click

    Comment by hornhoward90235 — April 8, 2016 @ 1:37 pm |Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: