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Adele [text (large print)] : Jane Eyre's hidden story / Emma Tennant.

By: Tennant, Emma.
Contributor(s): Brontë, Charlotte, 1816-1855. Jane Eyre | Brontë, Charlotte, 1816-1855.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: Waterville, Me. : Bath, England : Thorndike Press ; Chivers Press, 2003Description: 339 pages (large print) ; 22 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 0786253266 (lg. print : hc : alk. paper).Subject(s): Eyre, Jane (Fictitious character) -- Fiction | Abandoned children -- Fiction | Guardian and ward -- Fiction | Governesses -- Fiction | Girls -- Fiction | Large type books | England -- FictionGenre/Form: Historical fiction. | Bildungsromans.DDC classification: 823/.914
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Item type Current location Collection Call number Copy number Status Date due
Large Print Davis (Central) Library
Large Print
Large Print TEN 1 Available

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

Following the success of "Scarlett" and "Rebecca's Tale, " this is the brilliant companion novel that captures the era and spirit of Charlotte Bronte's romantic classic, "Jane Eyre." Copyright © Libri GmbH. All rights reserved.

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Excerpt provided by Syndetics

Adele Jane Eyre's Hidden Story Chapter One Adèle Tomorrow is the Pierrot in our pantomimes. All facts look so much the more like fairy stories because, in our time, fairy stories take unconscionable pains to look like the truth. -- balzac, Cousin Pons We lived in Paris, in a house on a long, gloomy street, the rue Vaugirard in Montparnasse, but our house was far from being somber or sad. There were three stories: the maid Bettina under the eaves, with a little child's bedroom next to it that I seldom occupied, as Maman allowed me to sleep on the chaise in the sitting room next to the pretty bedroom she had to herself. On the first floor lived old Tante Irène, who some said was the cousin of Herr Graff, whose house this really was -- he who made a fortune from promoting the railroads in Baden. But in reality Tante Irène was a milliner, and I would search for scraps for her all day: a feather from the park for a hat for the Comtesse Popinot, a twist of silk from Jenny's latest costume (Jenny was Jenny Colon, the famous actress). She was Maman's best friend, and when she came to visit, she would laugh at the new conservatory. This was on the ground floor, just off what had once been a dingy little salon with no space for more than a table and four chairs: "Céline Varens!" Jenny would cry in astonishment -- though of course you couldn't tell whether she was in earnest or not. "Ma chère Céline! Has the milord from England bought you this? How many francs did this cost to erect, I ask you?" And she would sweep around the glorious ballroom of glass, with its pink frosted chandelier and the parrot shrieking on its perch. "When is he coming to take you to his castle, ma chérie? One thing is certain, you can't take this contraption with you -- the frost in Angleterre would crack it and the snow would come drifting in!" And Jenny, making a scene so realistic of the glass igloo where my mother would be forced to live that we'd both shiver in the heat of a Parisian afternoon, would go off into more peals of laughter. She was afraid, I believe, that she would lose Maman to the country over the gray sea -- but I didn't like to think of her going there, and, with a regularity that must have been tiresome to both friends, I burst into tears at this point, and Maman was forced to lay her finger over her lips. She and Jenny weren't in the profession for nothing, however, and they'd mime the life Céline would be subjected to if she went to this fabulous castle in the north of a cold country -- picking icicles from the windows, throwing around their shoulders the cashmere shawls the milord sent Maman from his travels to India, and making a pretense of building a fire in the little paved garden beyond the walls of the conservatory. For all their clowning, I couldn't be persuaded to smile. I didn't know the milord -- though Maman told me I'd met him when I was very small. I knew I never wanted to meet him -- "Cher Edouard," as Jenny mockingly named my mother's protector and lover of times gone by. Then she'd set off for the theater. Like Maman, Jenny could turn her hand to most kinds of acting and singing, whether vaudeville or opéra comique. But only Maman, the beautiful and famous Céline Varens, daughter of the old Funambules Theater before it was transformed, danseuse de corde -- tightrope walker many leagues in the air -- could master all of them. Maman could sing like a nightingale, and she could play the great tragic roles as well. She would be Phèdre, pacing the glass cage the new conservatory now became -- waiting for her young lover, and I the incestuous stepson Hippolyte. How proud I was of Maman! There was literally no one like her -- for it was impossible to know what she would next be like. Our days in Paris, so far as the changing nature of her roles permitted, followed a pattern of which I never tired. After a morning in the sunny glass room, banked high with roses and freesias from Maman's admirers, we would abandon the attempt at lessons (I was supposed to learn English, but the thick, ugly language stuck in my mouth like unchewed meat) and set off for the park. It might be the Luxembourg Gardens, neat and yet with secret twists and turns, box hedges and laurel cut in half-human shapes, so that Maman would bow gravely, feigning acquaintance with a topiary bush. Passersby would stare at us, and of this I was also proud, for I knew by their gaze that I was pretty, too, and that my good looks accentuated Maman's. Sometimes a man would say in a hushed voice to his companion, "Surely that must be Céline Varens!" and I would be prouder still. I was the spitting image of my mother -- so Jenny and all Maman's friends said. On our outings to the park, walking the dark length of rue Vaugirard to the Luxembourg Gardens, I glowed in the knowledge that I wore the same dress --pale blue like forget-me-knots, with rose pantalettes -- as the celebrated Céline Varens. "Madame is today, mademoiselle is tomorrow," said our dandy, a flâneur or boulevard walker known slightly to Maman; a man who searched endlessly for novelty and amusement. And Paris could provide them: I loved to feel, in those moments, a part of the great city, the capital of luxury. I loved to be tomorrow, walking always a few feet behind today. Little did I know then the cruel pantomime I would be coerced into making come true. Adele Jane Eyre's Hidden Story . Copyright © by Emma Tennant. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from Adele: Jane Eyre's Hidden Story by Emma Tennant All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Why write an alternate version of a novel that is already complex and intriguing? Tennant, who tried to update Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice in Pemberly and An Unequal Marriage, focuses on Adele Varens, the ward of Edward Rochester and pupil of Jane Eyre. Adele's life in Paris and tenancy at Thornfield Hall are revealed in chapters narrated by various characters, most often Adele or Edward. The possibility of a different demise for the unfortunate Bertha constitutes a major part of the plot. Tennant's book is too insubstantial to sustain interest in its plot or characters. If the reader's major concern is trying to recall how Blanche Ingram, Grace Poole, Mrs. Fairfax, and the rest fit together in the original, why not just reread Charlotte Bronte's novel itself? That experience would be more rewarding than slogging through this volume. [Or read Wide Sargasso Sea, Jean Rhys's classic take on Jane Eyre.-Ed.]-Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State Univ. Lib., Mankato (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Review

Seasoned sequel-writer Tennant (Pemberley; Sylvia and Ted; etc.) offers not so much a follow-up to Jane Eyre as a new perspective on its plot. She retells Bronte's romance from the perspective of the pampered but neglected Adele, Rochester's "ward" and Jane's pupil. Only eight years old when the novel opens, Adle is living blissfully in Paris with her mother, the celebrated trapeze artist and actress Celine Varens. Their cozy-if somewhat depraved-life is threatened by the sudden arrival of Rochester, an explosive alcoholic whispered to be her father. Rochester kills Celine's lover in a duel, then flees to England, while Celine flees to Italy, abandoning her daughter. Adele is sent to stay with Rochester at Thornfield Hall, where she is befriended by the witchy "etrangere" Antoinette (also known as Bertha). Soon Jane Eyre arrives, but the bratty Adele, still plotting the marriage of Maman and Papa, rejects her governess's "persistent banality." Adele's narration is an awkward attempt at Victorian prose ("That she had had affection for me, I cannot gainsay; but I had been for her a conduit to the greater profit of her master's love, and little more") sprinkled with occasional, mostly gratuitous French words ("I was dismissed without even trying on the robe of organdy"). But the real problem is Adele herself, whose haughtiness is merely unpleasant; she has none of the charm of Bronte's imp, let alone the charisma to anchor a whole book. Some diehard Jane Eyre fans may enjoy this variation, but purists are warned to stay away. Agent, Elaine Markson Literary Agency. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Booklist Review

A sequel to Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, this novel is crafted in prose stylized to Bronte's specifications but stands on its own as a work of Victorian fiction. This novel centers on Adele, Jane Eyre's charge and the ward of the gloomy Edward Rochester. Adele has arrived at Thornfield Hall under contrived circumstances that have separated her from her mother, the promiscuous French trapeze artist and actress Cecile Varens, and brought her to Rochester's doorstep on the ominous English moors. The preadolescent Adele cannot fathom a lifetime in Yorkshire and yearns for her mother and their colorful life in the Parisian sunshine, but she cannot deny that the house calls to her and she ascends to the hidden room in the tower where the insane Mrs. Rochester lies in wait. Bronteleft enough loose threads to craft up some enticing Victorian Goth, but Tennant does not tie up Bronte's loose strings and instead chooses to take a direction of her own that might leave traditional Jane Eyre fans dissatisfied. --Elsa Gaztambide

Kirkus Book Review

After two sequels to Pride and Prejudice (Pemberley, 1993; An Unequal Marriage, 1994) and one to Emma (1998), Tennant retells Jane Eyre from the perspective of, mainly, Rochester's daughter Adele. The nice thing about being narrator is that it lets you look better than you might really be; and, if Adele Varens is to be believed, Jane Eyre was not the gracious soul she made herself seem. Adele, we recall, was the illegitimate daughter of Edward Rochester and Celine Varens, the Parisian actress and acrobat who was Rochester's great tragic love. Brought to England as a girl, when her mother abandoned her for an Italian musician, Adele (who had spent her childhood in the company of the greatest artists and actors of France) found life in the Rochester household unbearably dull and dreary-and looked down on her governess Jane as "this little, ill-educated nun." In chapters narrated by different characters, we discover that Rochester's family is an even greater nest of duplicity and madness than Brontk herself made it out to be. All Adele wants is to run back to the Continent and find her mother again-a normal enough sentiment, perhaps, except that Adele knows perfectly well her mother is dead. Rochester, meanwhile, detests himself for having murdered Celine's lover-but seems not too bothered about keeping his mad wife Bertha locked in a closet upstairs. Mrs. Fairfax, the housekeeper from hell, is trying to bump off Jane and Bertha alike so that Rochester can marry Blanche Ingram-an uncanny double of the young Bertha who may actually be Rochester's daughter. And Adele eventually learns that she has a twin brother who was fathered by another man. No, it's not the Addams family-just the dark underside of a Victorian one. Delightful may not be the word, but this is certainly lots of fun. Despite the odds, Tennant's story works perfectly, creating a genuine modern sequel to Brontk's tale that's neither a parody nor a cheap imitation.