I’ve found this site to be particularly helpful to literary history students, especially those studying Victorian authors. Browse through these digitized volumes and you can learn what the critics of the day thought of a particular work.
Take a look at the October 1848 issue and you’ll come across an article titled “A Few Words About Novels – A Dialogue”. One of the participants in that dialogue gives the following assessment of Jane Eyre, one year after its publication:
“It is not a book for Prudes – it is not a book for effeminate and tasteless men, it is for the enjoyment – of a feeling heart and vigorous understanding.”Not sure I agree with that assessment. I can’t understand why anyone wouldn’t enjoy Jane Eyre. The picture above of Jane Eyre author Charlotte Bronte comes from the Missouri Digital Heritage Exhibits collection. That collection includes digitized copies of an early Charlotte Bronte manuscript. Happy reading.