Jane Eyre is the greatest book in English. It exists at an intersection of Gothic, psychological realism and ideology-critique. It features the most searingly flawless powerful-though-disempowered protagonist I know, whose intelligence and self-possession are so extreme as to make her almost autistic in her separation from the world around her. The book contains the most important 'minor detail' in literature since the knocking at the gate in Macbeth that De Quincey wrote about, namely the scene where the baker will not let her buy a bun with her gloves, despite the gloves being worth far more than the cost of the buns, and the baker would rather *let her die* than have commodity economies so destabilised. And then it completely fucks with your expectations by ending *not* with Jane, *not* with Mr Rochester, but with fucking St John, and what's more with the *death scene* of St John, the visionary christian, thereby i) utterly destabilising the supposed 'happy ending', and ii) injecting into that ending a more ecstatic vision by far, the vision of unmediated relations with the godhead, which is the revolutionary vision, and the flipside to Jane's astonishing and gender-radical poise, making her proto-feminism a desperately poignant triumph. And other things too.
And other things too.
(Did you click the link? Is that not the sexiest interview you've ever read? He is so hot.)