Review of ‘Jane Eyre; An Autobiography. Edited by Currer Bell’, in The Quarterly Review, Vol. 84, no. CLXVII
In 1848, Charlotte Brontë published her first novel Jane Eyre under the pseudonym Currer Bell. Elizabeth Rigby, writing anonymously, produced a particularly scathing review. Rigby – one of the first women to write for the Quarterly – declared Jane Eyre ‘a decidedly vulgar-minded woman’ and Rochester ‘a strange brute’. If the author was a woman, wrote Rigby, ‘she had long forfeited the society of her own sex’. Unaware of her reviewer’s identity, Brontë responded, “I am afraid he is no gentleman’.