Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte's 1847 classic, has been a popular tale to rework for decades: film adaptations started as early as 1910, and more recently, there have been everything from prequels to sequels to retellings set in Jamaica. But now the novel is set to be retold with a different twist -- an erotic one, according to The Bookseller magazine.
"I think that readers through the ages have appreciated the smouldering sexual chemistry between Jane and Rochester and I have changed very little of Bronte's original to retell the timeless story of a young girl falling for an unattainable older man and getting out of her depth in a sensual world she cannot control," author Eve Sinclair said of the new adaptation, according to The Bookseller.
The speedy turnaround of Jane Eyre Laid Bare means it'll be out in time for the final weeks of beach-reading season when it's released as an e-book in August.
The book will join the growing number of erotic fan-fiction novels piggybacking on the success of E.L. James's Fifty Shades of Grey -- a trilogy originally written as Twilight fan-fiction that's since become a New York Times betseller and been credited with starting a revolution of "mommy porn."
"The idea is genius; Jane Eyre Laid Bare is a fan fiction re-write of Charlotte Bronte's much-loved novel, giving the original an exciting and enticing erotic make-over," Wayne Brookes, a publishing director with Macmillion, said, according to The Bookseller, noting that the original is "full of sexual tension."
As for other titles jumping on the Fifty Shades bandwagon, the sexual secrets of literary figures Melville, Emerson, Thoreau, and Hawthorne will be explored in the forthcoming Fifty Shades of Louisa May: A Memoir of Transcendental Sex, according to Mediabistro.com
"Well, it’s clear that the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon has hit a literary g-spot by revealing the inner desires of fictional characters. Fifty Shades of Louisa May just takes it further...So call it lewditure. Call it literotica," the anonymous author told the website.
Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, too, has proven to be a popular muse, with multiple erotic iterations already in print: Last summer, Mitzi Szereto's Pride and Prejudice: Hidden Lusts was released, a remake described as "the classic that goes all the way."
Pride/Prejudice: The Hidden Secret, on the other hand, gives the story a bisexual plot twist, with Elizabeth and Darcy both having affairs with members of the same sex.
Despite this seeming to be a new trend, there are veteran writers in the "literotica" genre: Author Collette Gale has been "seducing the classics" since 2007 with titles under her belt like Unmasqued: An Erotic Novel of The Phantom of The Opera and Bound By Honor: An Erotic Novel of Maid Marian.
Now as for Jane Eyre Laid Bare and how The Bronte Parsonage Museum in West Yorkshire feels about it, collections manager, Ann Dinsdale told the Telegraph, "I am quite OK about it. Anything that brings the Bronte [sisters] into the limelight has to be a good thing. It is quite a passionate book anyway."