The Folio Society: Jane Eyre

Charlotte Brontë

£36.95

Introduced by Emma Donoghue

Illustrated by Santiago Caruso, this edition of Charlotte Brontë's beloved novel celebrates its gothic undercurrents.

Artist Santiago Caruso’s dedication to the fantastique made him sensitive to the novel’s otherworldliness. His illustrations evoke its eerie scenery and the intensity of Jane’s experiences. In most she is central: a small but wilful figure whose ‘obscure’ life is as profoundly engaging as that of the most dazzling heroine. As author Emma Donoghue writes in her introduction, Jane ‘survives all sorts of abuses and humiliations because she is driven on by a sense that she matters, because everybody matters’.

 

Santiago Caruso - illustrating Jane Eyre

Santiago Caruso was born in Quilmes, Argentina, in 1982. He is an avant-garde symbolist artist, and his work is rooted in the nineteenth century’s decadentism. Dedicated to the fantastique, he has illustrated books for publishers worldwide. His work stands out for the vigour of its poetry as well as for its technique. Caruso’s artwork is represented in galleries in Buenos Aires, the United States, the United Kingdom, Mexico and Spain.

Caruso very kindly provided The Folio Society with copies of his roughs for this edition and a brief insight into the process of illustrating this great work of literature.

Here we have the first image I developed for this project. It shows the moment that Jane is punished by Mr Brocklehurst in front of the class. She is demonised and obliged to stand on the stool for hours. I saw Jane as a stylite from the past: the stool is turned almost into a column, where she learns the prayers and penance. The concept of the upper scene has been taken from Fra Angelico’s fresco: The Mocking of Christ. I liked the almost surreal language of those fragmented elements floating around the figure, so I used it to represent the punishments that Lowood Institute gave to their sheltered girls: The bad food, the scourges with the bundle of twigs, the bad idea of an education which points and punishes all of the 'errors' to let you know that the error is yourself, and the censorship represented by the scissors over the head of Jane: femininity was a sin for the unrightful girls.

 

'Punish her body to save her soul' is the phrase over all the scene: the submission of poor girls, women, to a 'charity' who degrade them to build servants for the world of men. Remember that Mr Brocklehurst’s daughters were all well dressed and pompous, but the girls in Lowood had no right to beauty, to love and to freedom of thought. This is the idea of 'charity' that rules the institution: inequality. But Jane is the fissure in the society, a powerful mixture of sensibility and deep thinking; questioning the whole world around her. Only her wild spirit will make her an equal, for love, for happiness.

 

This is the first sketch for this scene. I just wanted to depict a double page of Jane in the dry land, as an old painting of a martyr. It was her experience of the vacuum, the cruelty of the elements of this world, which punished her since her childhood.

 

Later, I thought of the crossroads as the shape of a cross upside down, as some Christian martyrs were crucified. So we have her now, surrendered to God´s will, when she is praying, under a night filled with stars - of distant promises.

Here, with the mark of the carriages on the ground, the idea of a cross has more noise but the figure is magnified, accentuating the suffering and the crucified pose. The distance between her and the sky is a symbol of abandonment. Later, the idea of God will help her with the character of St John.

 

Here we have Jane and St John at their last discussion about what he thinks is the mission that Jane must perform. That is why St John looks to the right, to what is coming - the East or India with the sun as the masculine ruler. Anyway, Jane is looking at her past life with Mr Rochester, because she hears his calling through the wind. Jane is under the symbol of the moon, the feminine symbol of power, attributed to sorcerers in antiquity. Charlotte Brontë suggested that Jane put a spell on Mr Rochester, as this character himself explained in chapter thirteen.

 

In the final image I added the detail of the book opened to the wind. It is a metaphor for Jane’s spirit stirring her story. The words that Jane wants to hear, the words of love, are coming in the wind, through time and space, through pain and darkness. If you pay attention to the background over her, her past is cloudy and tormentous, but she is the light in th

 

  • Bound in buckram

  • Set in Adobe Caslon Pro

  • 512 pages

  • Frontispiece and 9 colour illustrations

  • Book size: 9½" x 6¼"

  •  

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Introduced by Emma Donoghue

Illustrated by Santiago Caruso, this edition of Charlotte Brontë's beloved novel celebrates its gothic undercurrents.

Artist Santiago Caruso’s dedication to the fantastique made him sensitive to the novel’s otherworldliness. His illustrations evoke its eerie scenery and the intensity of Jane’s experiences. In most she is central: a small but wilful figure whose ‘obscure’ life is as profoundly engaging as that of the most dazzling heroine. As author Emma Donoghue writes in her introduction, Jane ‘survives all sorts of abuses and humiliations because she is driven on by a sense that she matters, because everybody matters’.

 

Santiago Caruso - illustrating Jane Eyre

Santiago Caruso was born in Quilmes, Argentina, in 1982. He is an avant-garde symbolist artist, and his work is rooted in the nineteenth century’s decadentism. Dedicated to the fantastique, he has illustrated books for publishers worldwide. His work stands out for the vigour of its poetry as well as for its technique. Caruso’s artwork is represented in galleries in Buenos Aires, the United States, the United Kingdom, Mexico and Spain.

Caruso very kindly provided The Folio Society with copies of his roughs for this edition and a brief insight into the process of illustrating this great work of literature.

Here we have the first image I developed for this project. It shows the moment that Jane is punished by Mr Brocklehurst in front of the class. She is demonised and obliged to stand on the stool for hours. I saw Jane as a stylite from the past: the stool is turned almost into a column, where she learns the prayers and penance. The concept of the upper scene has been taken from Fra Angelico’s fresco: The Mocking of Christ. I liked the almost surreal language of those fragmented elements floating around the figure, so I used it to represent the punishments that Lowood Institute gave to their sheltered girls: The bad food, the scourges with the bundle of twigs, the bad idea of an education which points and punishes all of the 'errors' to let you know that the error is yourself, and the censorship represented by the scissors over the head of Jane: femininity was a sin for the unrightful girls.

 

'Punish her body to save her soul' is the phrase over all the scene: the submission of poor girls, women, to a 'charity' who degrade them to build servants for the world of men. Remember that Mr Brocklehurst’s daughters were all well dressed and pompous, but the girls in Lowood had no right to beauty, to love and to freedom of thought. This is the idea of 'charity' that rules the institution: inequality. But Jane is the fissure in the society, a powerful mixture of sensibility and deep thinking; questioning the whole world around her. Only her wild spirit will make her an equal, for love, for happiness.

 

This is the first sketch for this scene. I just wanted to depict a double page of Jane in the dry land, as an old painting of a martyr. It was her experience of the vacuum, the cruelty of the elements of this world, which punished her since her childhood.

 

Later, I thought of the crossroads as the shape of a cross upside down, as some Christian martyrs were crucified. So we have her now, surrendered to God´s will, when she is praying, under a night filled with stars - of distant promises.

Here, with the mark of the carriages on the ground, the idea of a cross has more noise but the figure is magnified, accentuating the suffering and the crucified pose. The distance between her and the sky is a symbol of abandonment. Later, the idea of God will help her with the character of St John.

 

Here we have Jane and St John at their last discussion about what he thinks is the mission that Jane must perform. That is why St John looks to the right, to what is coming - the East or India with the sun as the masculine ruler. Anyway, Jane is looking at her past life with Mr Rochester, because she hears his calling through the wind. Jane is under the symbol of the moon, the feminine symbol of power, attributed to sorcerers in antiquity. Charlotte Brontë suggested that Jane put a spell on Mr Rochester, as this character himself explained in chapter thirteen.

 

In the final image I added the detail of the book opened to the wind. It is a metaphor for Jane’s spirit stirring her story. The words that Jane wants to hear, the words of love, are coming in the wind, through time and space, through pain and darkness. If you pay attention to the background over her, her past is cloudy and tormentous, but she is the light in th

 

  • Bound in buckram

  • Set in Adobe Caslon Pro

  • 512 pages

  • Frontispiece and 9 colour illustrations

  • Book size: 9½" x 6¼"

  •