At least this is how “reader” has been understanding it since 1847, and “reader” could be anyone from billions of people who, in every region of the world, have become familiar with this story in original or through abridgement, translation or adaptation. Its popularity across cultures is mind-boggling: the video here shows Zeba as Jane Eyre rescuing Waheed Murad as Rochester in the partially inspired Armaan (1966), while another famous song “Abhi dhoondh hi rahi thhi, tumhien yeh nazar hamari” comes from yet another version, and there was at least one more.
Of course, the most enduring loan from Jane Eyre has been the wonderful announcement in Chapter 26: “The marriage cannot go on.” It has been repeated countless times on Indian and Pakistani screen in its Urdu variation, “Yeh shadi nahi ho sakti.” You didn't know that this quotable quote was from English literature?).
Apart from popular culture, Jane Eyre has never ceased to be taught in schools, colleges and universities. Such global adoration is usually reserved for some scriptures, Rumi and Shakespeare. How did a nineteenth century forerunner of Mills & Boons conquer an empire that was bigger than Queen Victoria’s, and more lasting?
I had posted this far when I received the comment (see below), "Talking about Bronte, I think she always wrote for pleasure or love. I didnt find any purpose or a desire to change the world in her novels yet I have the widest collection..." Precisely, that's how I used to think when I started building my personal collection of works by and about the Bronte sisters.
Until I realized that probably Charlotte Bronte is one of the few who can change the world. TODAY.