Heber Loggins
Heber Loggins asked:

is the book hard to understand than jane eyre?

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Theresa I am re-reading it now, having first read it in my 20's. I liked it then but did not get nearly as much from it as I am now. In fact I love it, consider it by far the best Bronte novel of them all. \

It's a very slow read I find. The language is more sophisticated, with a wonderfully rich vocabulary, but the French passages slow me down - I read French easily but not as well as English of course. If there are annotated editions, do get one. I also find I'm looking up lots of references that would have been known to the original reading public, i.e. Timon as Ginevre calls Lucie that frequently. It slows you down but adds to the richness of the read. Since I'm reading it in ebook, it's simple to look up all the references and unfamiliar vocabulary.

It's a very rich story, with intriguing characters. Not as simple an arc as Jane Eyre.
Sofía Yes it is. I would say that it is more difficult to understand -not because of the rich language and the introspective style- but because our main character is harder to like. Lucy Snowe had a difficult childhood and her experiences made her be like ice. She's very passionate but is afraid to fall in love and being derided. It's not a fairy tale, like Jane Eyre, it is rather a hit of realism trying to find independence and freedom.
Ella Carmichael Yes, it's harder than Jane Eyre mainly down to the characters. The love story is more complicated in the way it weaves, yet in some ways more realistic. There's a lot of pain flowing through it as the heroine finds herself disappointed, yet the ending is positive. I have only read it twice but may go back for more now that I am older. Looking back now I don't think it's a book that a very young person can understand.
Sarah Marie You definitely need to get an annotated copy that has the French translated.
Dominique I thought it was harder to understand than Jane Eyre, because of the personal nature of it (lack of situations and dialogue, mostly an internal dialogue).
I speak French and the French passages were very simple and sporadic.
Sarah Millward I recommend getting the penguin classics edition- plenty of annotations and translations that helped me very much.
Matthew Connolly it is is about the same level of difficulty
Sara L Yes, I think so because there are quite a few passages in french. Still, I enjoyed it (not as much as Jane Eyre) I listened to a libravox recording and also read the book at the same time.
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