Jane Eyre adaptations but now, I want to post them here and maybe interest a reader into listening to the episode. They are all mostly from the forties and fifties and really entertaining. Check out all the radio adaptations of Jane Eyre here.
I'll start off with the adaptation for the radio series "Weird Circle" that aired December 26, 1943. Unfortunately I have been unable to find any information on the cast. Amidst the sound of rolling waves it begins:
In this cave by the restless sea, we are met to call from out of the past, stories strange and weird. Phantoms of a world gone by speak again the immortal tale... Jane Eyre.
Dramatic much? This should be called Weird Adaptation because it doesn't really take much from the book. Absolutely none of the original dialogue is used, pretty much all scenes disregarded except for the interrupted wedding, goodbye faithful characterizations, and Mrs. Fairfax is inexplicably changed to Mrs. Campbell and clearly ripped off from sinister Mrs. Danvers from Rebecca. (Rebecca the film was released in 1940 by the way) The creep factor is turned way up by Mrs. Campbell's sneering threats, very unnerving noises coming from the attic, and a Bertha who maniacally says she likes death and fire. But let's get back to the plot being pathetically stripped down to just include scenes that indicate 1) timid Jane has a new position as governess, 2) Something strange is going on in that attic 3) poor Adela is scared 4) Mr. Rochester and Jane have nice conversations (off microphone) but even Jane is surprised by how abruptly he declares his love, 5) Interrupted wedding, 6) as Jane is leaving she turns around and sees the house afire, and 7) she sits by Rochester's bed waiting for him to wake up so she can love him. Wow. I guess this vaguely reminds me of Jane Eyre.
Obviously this is a ridiculous, over the top adaptation. It turns the multi-faceted story into a hackneyed ghost story with no ghost. And yet I find it hilarious and very entertaining. I'll leave you with my favorite part - twice Jane asks Mr. Rochester about the noises in the attic and this is what she gets:
Jane: Then why is the attic shut off that way?
Rochester: It saves fuel.
Jane: Well that's nonsense, the attic's heated.
Rochester: Let's say it saves fuel, and let us go with that.
Rochester: You had a nightmare probably, Jane
Jane: It wasn't the first time I heard those footsteps.
Rochester: Probably Mrs. Campbell rummaging up there. She has insomnia at times.
Jane: Mrs. Campbell doesn't walk on all fours, Edward.
Rochester: Well, uh, probably the wind.
Jane: Adela heard it too.
Rochester: Let's say it's the wind and forget it, shall we?
Omigod what? Jane, you are INSANE to just let those feeble answers go! It's so terrible it's kind of brilliant!
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