Jane Eyre is left an orphan and penniless at the age of fourteen. She is adopted by her uncle, who has ample means of providing for her, and who also loves her dearly. Her uncle's kin, however, consider her adoption an intrusion, and do all in their power to prevent her becoming a member of the family. But her uncle insists on her remaining, and during his lifetime, she receives some degree of kindness and consideration. Unfortunately Uncle Reed dies and leaves Jane without a friend in the world. She is sent to an orphan asylum by her unfeeling aunt. Five years later she leaves the asylum to accept the position of governess to Lord Rochester's little niece. The child is the daughter of Rochester's dead brother. Her mother has become insane and is living in Lord Rochester's home, under his protection. Jane is engaged by Lord Rochester's housekeeper during his absence from home, and her first meeting with her employer is both exciting and romantic. She is sitting by the edge of the road reading when Lord Rochester rides up to his ancestral home. The sight of his huge dog, coming upon her suddenly, so startles Jane that she jumps to her feet, causing Lord Rochester's horse to shy and throw it rider. He injures his ankle, and has to be assisted to remount "the little witch," as he calls her, who is the cause of his accident. That same evening in his home, he is surprised to find that "the little witch" of his adventure is living in his house as his niece's governess. Jane's rich relations, the Reed family, visit Lord Rochester, and persistently insult and humiliate her by treating her as a servant. Lord Rochester, however, is not blind to her sweetness, nor to the cruelty of her cousin, who is trying to win Lord Rochester's hand and fortune. One evening the maniac escapes from her nurse and sets fire to the room in which Lord Rochester has fallen asleep. He is saved from a horrible death by Jane. When next Jane's haughty aunt and cousins come to call upon Lord Rochester, they are just in time to be introduced to his bride, who is none other than the despised Jane Eyre.
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