Charlotte Brontë: An Independent Will
Morgan Library and Museum, New York City
9 September 2016–2 January, 2017
“I am no bird, and no net ensnares me. I am a free human being with an independent will, which I now exert to leave you…it is my spirit that addresses your spirit; just as if both had passed through the grave, and we stood at God’s feet, equal,—as we are. ” Who can forget Jane Eyre furiously taking her stand against Rochester after he railed that she was behaving like a “wild frantic bird” in proto-feminist passages where Jane demanded equal recognition of the sexes in this eponymous novel? For the 200th anniversary of Charlotte Brontë’s birth the Morgan Library and Museum presented American viewers for the very first time the bound manuscript of Jane Eyre, on loan from the British Library.