This renowned novel—a top-10 favorite among American readers—contains elements of gothic and quest romance. A fictional autobiography tracing its unconventional heroine’s pursuit of independence, purpose, and fulfillment, Jane Eyre is a premier feminist text (with a prototype of “the madwoman in the attic”). Brontë’s innovative passages into the realm of private consciousness (heralding major 20th-century writers) as well as the plot invite questions about what a woman “wants” (and gets), the character of this “plain Jane” and why she still fascinates us. WARNING: my reading is unorthodox! Please (re)read the novel before our first class.