The departure of the one kind person in the orphanage where she has spent more than half her young life, triggers – in a single afternoon – Jane’s realisation that she can no longer stay there.

She immediately sets about planning her escape, seeking and securing a job as a governess, despite the humiliations and constraints that role commonly brought with it.  Her choices weren’t many.

‘I tired of the routine of eight years in one afternoon. I desired liberty; for liberty I gasped.’

See our love letter to this humanist masterpiece, dotted with illustrated quotes, and our selection of other quotations on the theme of freedom. 


Source: Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre (London: Bounty Books, 2012 (1847)), p. 108

Photo credit: holdosi at


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