Mr. Rochester (Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Brontë)Read about the other entries on the list.
This is a hard one for me to write, because I would take up with Mr. Rochester in a hot minute if I got half the chance. Despite my criticisms, he’s still one of my favorite fictional boyfriends of all time, and Jane Eyre helped shape my impressionable young mind about what an ideal romance should be like (not that this is good). But to be honest, Mr. Rochester was, for a number of reasons, a terrible boyfriend. For one thing, before admitting his true feelings for Jane, he concocted a fake romance with a beautiful woman right in front of her to make her jealous, which was not very sporting. Then there was the memorable evening he disguised himself as a fortune-teller and then was all, “Hey Jane, what do you think of that Mr. Rochester guy, do you like like him?”—that’s a manipulative tactic straight out of middle school, minus the cross-dressing. Finally, he wooed Jane and asked her to marry him while he was, in fact, still wedded to a crazy lady he kept locked in the attic. Party foul there, friend. And that’s three strikes for you.
Jane Eyre also made Janice Clark's top seven list of timeless coming-of-age novels, Lauren Passell's list of 20 peanut butter & jelly reads, Rebecca Jane Stokes's list of the ten hottest men in required reading, Honeysuckle Weeks's six best books list, Kathryn Harrison's list of six favorite books with parentless protagonists, Megan Abbott's top ten list of novels of teenage friendship, a list of Bettany Hughes's six best books, the Guardian's top 10 lists of "outsider books" and "romantic fiction;" it appears on Lorraine Kelly's six best books list, Esther Freud's top ten list of love stories, and Jessica Duchen's top ten list of literary Gypsies, and on John Mullan's lists of ten of the best governesses in literature, ten of the best men dressed as women, ten of the best weddings in literature, ten of the best locked rooms in literature, ten of the best pianos in literature, ten of the best breakfasts in literature, ten of the best smokes in fiction, and ten of the best cases of blindness in literature. It is one of Kate Kellaway's ten best love stories in fiction.
The Page 99 Test: Jane Eyre.