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Charlotte BrontëLegacies and Afterlives$
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Amber K. Regis and Deborah Wynne

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781784992460

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781784992460.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 26 June 2022

‘Reader, I [shagged/beat/whipped/f****d/rewrote] him’: the sexual and financial afterlives of Jane Eyre

‘Reader, I [shagged/beat/whipped/f****d/rewrote] him’: the sexual and financial afterlives of Jane Eyre

(p.258) 12 ‘Reader, I [shagged/beat/whipped/f****d/rewrote] him’: the sexual and financial afterlives of Jane Eyre
Charlotte Brontë

Louisa Yates

Manchester University Press

This chapter provides the first comparative reading of neo-Victorian fiction with the erotic makeover novel, a genre that realised commercial success in the immediate aftermath of the wild financial success of E.L. James’s Fifty Shades of Grey. Individual makeovers exactly reproduce the text of canonical novels such as Jane Eyre; the only additional material are passages of explicit, often BDSM-inflected, sexual encounters. This chapter examines the brief flare of global interest in the erotic makeover in order to demonstrate the genre’s appropriation of academic neo-Victorian vocabulary. As this chapter argues, such appropriation is deployed in order to obfuscate opportunistic financial imperatives. A comparative reading of Sienna Cartwright’s erotic makeover of Jane Eyre with D.M. Thomas’s neo-Victorian novel Charlotte initiates a dialogue between the two genres across the topics of authorship, fan fiction, copyright law, literary originality and neo-Victoriana. Both genres provide Charlotte Brontë and Jane Eyre with a curiously commercial afterlife.

Keywords:   Adaptation, Appropriation, Copyright, Erotic makeover, Fan fiction, Jane Eyre, Neo-Victorianism, Victoriana, Re-visionary fiction, D.M. Thomas

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