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Can Jane Eyre Be Happy?: More Puzzles in Classic Fiction
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Can Jane Eyre Be Happy?: More Puzzles in Classic Fiction

3.54  ·  Rating Details ·  166 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
The exciting sequel to the enormously successful Is Heathcliff A Murderer?, John Sutherland's latest collection of literary puzzles, Can Jane Eyre Be Happy?, turns up unexpected and brain-teasing aspects of the range of canonical British and American fiction represented in the World's Classics list. With bold imaginative speculation he investigates thirty-four literary con ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published July 27th 2000 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 1997)
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Jean
Can Jane Eyre be Happy? More puzzles in Classic Fiction is a follow-up to John Sutherland's excellent first book of this type, "Is Heathcliff a Murderer? Puzzles in Nineteenth-century Fiction". It is another book of literary conundrums, ideal for enthusiasts of the Classics to get their teeth into. The author is a British academic, a distinguished Professor of English literature, and an author. The conundrums here all have their source in classic English novels, plus a couple of American ones, h ...more
Cat.
Nov 11, 2013 Cat. rated it it was amazing
The second book in the author's treatment of fictional stories as 'real life.' It should come as no surprise that Jasper Fforde has been known to use these books.

So, yeah, here we find Jane Eyre, Fanny Hill, Fagin, Maggie Tulliver, Clarissa Dalloway, etc. Peeking through the undergrowth, we can also catch sight of some American classics: Black Beauty, The Madwoman in the Attic, Hester Prynne, Hawk-eye... I've come to expect interesting commentary, so here's the down and dirty on the books I've
...more
Gracie
Aug 22, 2016 Gracie rated it really liked it
I was a little leery going in because I thought it might be boring with the author getting hung up on small, incidental but I was very happy to find this was not the case.

The author presents his theories, proof and conclusions in a very easy to access manner and very funny sometimes.

While I didn't always agree with the author's conclusions they were interesting to read.

I've bought the rest of the series and will be reviewing them as well.
Yellowoasis
Aug 09, 2014 Yellowoasis rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
I love John Sutherland's books, picking apart as he does works of great literature and putting them through a fact-checking process. And he really knows his stuff, both in terms of historical accuracy/inaccuracy and in the level of detail he has paid his primary sources. He always makes me want to rush back and re-read the original so I can see for myself what he's deduced.
T. Finley
Although this book is actually the second in a series books by this author that address puzzles in fiction, it was the first one that I stumbled across and read. I enjoyed it so much that I made a point of acquiring the other books in the series.
Did I like it? Absolutely!
Would I reread it? I have, repeatedly.
Would I recommend it? Yes.
Jeff Hobbs
Oct 30, 2015 Jeff Hobbs rated it liked it
I only found five of the essays in this collection particularly fascinating in the sense that they changed my view of a novel or made me understand it better. Those were "Why is Fagin hanged, and why isn't Pip prosecuted?", "Who gets what in Heathcliff's will?", "Can Jane Eyre be happy?", "Is Daniel Deronda circumcised?" and "Clarissa's invisible taxi."
Lucy
Aug 04, 2016 Lucy rated it really liked it
As with his first book, you need to be an avid reader of classic fiction to get the best from this - I was only beaten by two of the books he dissects, and of course I will now read them! He writes very entertainingly and you can only admire his stamina.
Rita
Jul 08, 2009 Rita rated it liked it
I only read about the books I knew. I hadn't heard of The Yellow Wallpaper.
Didn't like his remarks about Jane Eyre that Jane was second choice to Blanche Ingram, to me Jane Eyre is a love story. Some interesting points about the law in Dickens' novels.
LemontreeLime
holy cats! I never ever made the bluebeard legend comparison to the Jane Eyre storyline, and Sutherland is totally on the money with his insights! The other puzzles are great too, but i am floored that I never thought to stop and think about Bronte's Eyre in investigative depth.
Sheila
Jul 08, 2011 Sheila rated it it was ok
Rather a skewed POV of the Rochester/Jane dynamic. More to fit in with the premise of the book I think. Not one I'll return to
Tiffany
Oct 30, 2007 Tiffany rated it liked it
Recommends it for: 18th-19th century literature fans
I totally disagree with the title essay, but otherwise this is a fine follow-up to his last book of literary puzzles.
Lindsey
Jan 26, 2016 Lindsey rated it it was ok
Shelves: book-on-book
Interesting essays on classic books. I would not recommend however cause they seem to diminish the original story. Stimulating however to read others opinions.
Val
Dec 14, 2016 Val rated it liked it
I admit I wondered about the title question when I first read the book at school.
Second book in the series which involves close reading of the classics and a forensic technique for analysing them.
John
Aug 19, 2007 John rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone interested in Victorian lit
If you've read a fair amount of Victorian literature, you'll love this sequel to "Is Heathcliff a Murderer?"; this time he goes a back to the 1700's and up to early 1900's in range.
Tamara
Nov 07, 2009 Tamara rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gen-nonfic, 2009
What a fabulous book about books! John Sutherland examines puzzling minutia from popular and famous classics and comes up with logical answers. For book nerds everywhere.
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John Andrew Sutherland is an English lecturer, emeritus professor, newspaper columnist and author.

Now Emeritus Lord Northcliffe Professor of Modern English Literature at University College London, John Sutherland began his academic career after graduating from the University of Leicester as an assistant lecturer in Edinburgh in 1964. He specialises in Victorian fiction, 20th century literature, an
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