Synopsis: JANE EYRE
It all begins with a letter. Fall in love with Penguin Drop Caps, a new series of twenty-six collectable hardcover editions with a gorgeous type cover for each letter of the alphabet. Featuring lettering by Jessica Hische, a superstar in the world of type and illustration, whose work has appeared everywhere from Tiffany & Co. to Wes Anderson's films to Penguin's own bestsellers, Penguin Drop Caps debut with an A for Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, a B for Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, and a C for Willa Cather's My Antonia. B is for Bronte. A novel of intense power and intrigue, Jane Eyre dazzles and shocks readers with its passionate depiction of a woman's search for equality and freedom. Orphaned Jane Eyre grows up in the home of her heartless aunt, where she endures loneliness and cruelty, and at a charity school with a harsh regime. This troubled childhood strengthens Jane's natural independence and spirit-which proves necessary when she takes a position as governess at Thornfield Hall. But when she finds love with her sardonic employer, Rochester, the discovery of his terrible secret forces her to make a choice. Should she stay with him and live with the consequences, or follow her convictions, even if it means leaving the man she loves? CHARLOTTE BRONTE was born in Thornton, Yorkshire, in 1816, the third of six children of Patrick and Maria Bronte. In 1820 her father was appointed perpetual curate of Haworth, a small town in the rapidly industrializing Pennines, on the edge of the Yorkshire moors. Mrs. Bronte died in 1821, and her sister, Elizabeth Branwell, came to take care of the children-Maria, Elizabeth, Charlotte, Emily, Branwell and Anne. In 1824 the four oldest girls were sent to a boarding school for daughters of the clergy (later to be fictionalized as "Lowood" in Jane Eyre). Maria and Elizabeth were taken ill at school, and returned home to die in 1825; Charlotte and Emily returned home in the summer of that year. For the next six years, the young Brontes were educated at home. They developed a rich fantasy life amongst themselves, constructing together the imaginary world of Glass Town and writing of it in dozens of microscopically printed 'books'. Charlotte and her brother Branwell invented their shared kingdom of Angria in 1834. From 1831 to 1832 Charlotte went as a pupil to Miss Wooler's boarding school for young ladies at Roe Head; she returned there as a teacher from 1835-8. After working for a period as a private governess, in 1842 she went with her sister Emily to study languages at the Pensionnat Heger in Brussels, returning there as a teacher in 1843. She returned to Haworth in 1844. In 1846, at Charlotte's instigation, the Bronte sisters published Poems By Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell. Charlotte's first novel, The Professor, was rejected by several publishers, and not published until 1857. Jane Eyre appeared, and was an instant success, in 1847. Branwell Bronte died in September of 1848, Emily in December of the same year, and Anne in May 1849. Charlotte, the only survivor, continued to live at Haworth Parsonage with her father. Shirley was published in 1849 and Villette in 1853, both pseudonymously. In 1854 Charlotte married her father's curate, Arthur Bell Nicholls; she died 31 March 1855. JESSICA HISCHE is a letterer, illustrator, typographer, and web designer. She currently serves on the Type Directors Club board of directors, has been named a Forbes Magazine "30 under 30" in art and design as well as an ADC Young Gun and one of Print Magazine's "New Visual Artists." She has designed for Wes Anderson, McSweeney's, Tiffany & Co, Penguin Books and many others. She resides primarily in San Francisco, occasionally in Brooklyn, and can otherwise be found in airplanes en route to speaking engagements.