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History & Context

Victorian England

Jane Eyre is set in England during the early 1800s. During this time, Great Britain was the world’s most powerful empire. But life was much different back then.


Click through the classroom activity below to find some fun facts and stories that will help you appreciate the play's setting.



Classroom Activity:

Historical Context:

Click through this activity to find some fun facts and stories about the Victorian Era that will help contextualize the play's setting.

What's Love got to do with it?

In the 19th century, new ideas about marriage took hold. Arranged marriages fell out of favor, and companionate marriages – marriages based on whom you loved – became more and more popular.  

A lot, it turns out


Back Then . . .

Even though companionate marriages were becoming more popular, there were still some key differences between dating and marriage back then and now. Here are a few highlights:  


A Clash of Class

Class plays an important role in the world of Jane Eyre. Throughout her life, Jane’s finances are often precarious and out of her control – we see her reaction to this in her drive for independence.  

She spends a large part of her youth in a cruel, strict orphanage. And she was lucky – she could have ended up in a workhouse. More of her time there is explored in the book than in the play, but this video gives some info on what Jane’s orphanage home might have looked like.

How would this affect your view of the world? How do you think it will be reflected in the actor's portrayal of Jane?

It's All About the Money

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