In keeping to Udolpho’s gothic theme in the absence of a post on the book a review of another gothic style classic.
Originally broadcast between 24/09/06 and 15/10/06 I have to say behind Pride and Prejudice that this is my favourite BBC adaptation.
Okay I have to say straight off that Mr Rochester is possibly one of the sexist male characters ever written in literature. Yes Darcy would be the choice for a husband but Rochester would be the one who would lead you astray and break your heart. This adaptation skips through the early chapters of the novel dealing with Jane’s childhood and her time at the Lowood School and takes up the story where is really begins upon her arrival at Thornfield.
The back story of the mad woman in the attic has been wonderfully explored in Jean Rhys Wide Sargasso Sea and one must question what would we have done in Rochester’s place? He keeps her, shut up admittedly, but it would have been easy for him to have abandoned her overseas or to have had her shut away in an institution or concealed in another location. I may even suggest that other men may have easily have ensured their wife met with an accident to rid themselves of the inconvenience of a deranged spouse.
Bronte’s characters are well acted by an excellently appointed cast Ruth Wilson plays the meek Jane perfectly while Toby Stephens is the ideal Mr Rochester mixing just the right quantity of mystery with rugged attraction.
This gets a huge 5 out of 5 .