Jane Eyre Map

Jane Eyre Map

Reader, it has arrived, the Jane Eyre Map!

Many places on the map are fictional, but there are plenty of clues indicating approximately where Charlotte imagined them to be.

I began by placing Lowood School because it is quite certain that it is based on Charlotte’s memories of the Clergy Daughter’s School in Cowan Bridge, where Charlotte and her sisters attended.

“Miss Brontë more than once said to me, that she should not have written what she did of Lowood in “Jane Eyre,” if she had thought the place would have been so immediately identified with Cowan Bridge” From “The Life of Charlotte Bronte”, 1857, by Elizabeth Gaskell

Cottages, Cowan Bridge, 2010. © Copyright Karl and Ali and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Gateshead (where the novel begins) was probably the hardest to place. It is supposed to be 50 miles from Lowood School and 100 miles from Millcote (which is supposed to be south of the school). I was so pleased when I found Paul Thompson's excellent website where he writes a lot about Jane Eyre (The reader's guide to Charlotte Bronte's classic "Jane Eyre"). He notes that Gateshead should be located in a shire county and that the southwest of Cumbria was part of Lancashire when Charlotte lived. I placed Gateshead quite far north in the then Lancashire; it is quite hilly there, which may not entirely match the text, but it is to increase the distance to Lowood.

On Jane's journey to Lowood, they stop in a town that Jane perceives as a large town (L—). I chose to mark Kendal even though it does not begin with an L. According to maps from that time, it seems to have been a hub and could have been perceived as a large town. The town also spreads out along a wide street, which was probably a stone street (as mentioned in the text).


Kendal map: Old Cumbria Gazetteer - Kendal

I may not need to mention all the places here, but one last tricky place I'll mention is Moor House. It is generally assumed that the house of Moorseats, just north of Hathersage, was the inspiration for Moor House. The distance to Thornfield doesn’t quite match since it takes 36 hours to get there by carriage according to the text; it should have been faster if it were that close, but it still seems to be where Charlotte envisioned that place.

Besides all the places, there are many characters to keep track of in this fantastic novel. On one side of the map, there is a detailed character map where you can get an overview of the main characters, and I hope that it, along with the map, will provide a better reading experience!



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