The appropriately named housekeeper at Jane Eyre’s orphanage has qualities the patron of the establishment values. He believes – firmly – that little tikes living on charity need to be regularly reminded how lucky they are to have a crust to eat.

Nowadays he’d probably be locked up as a perv.

‘Mrs. Harden, be it observed, was the housekeeper: a woman after Mr. Brocklehurst’s own heart, made up of equal parts of whalebone and iron.’

 

Source: Charlotte Bronte,Jane Eyre (London: Bounty Books, 2012 (1847)), p. 90

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