Gothic romance: New 'Jane Eyre' gloomily compelling

Gothic romance attracts us with a deep, tidal force. Part of its appeal is the sense of ungovernable eroticism squirming to escape from just beneath the surface. Its chaste heroines and dark, brooding heroes prowl the gloomy shadows of crepuscular castles, and doomy secrets stir in the corners. Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre is among the greatest of Gothic novels, a page-turner of such startling power it leaves its pale, latter-day imitators like Twilight flopping for air like a stranded fish.
    To be sure, the dark hero of the story, Rochester, is not a vampire, but that's only a technicality. The tension in the genre is often generated by a virginal girl's attraction to a dangerous man. The more pitiful and helpless the heroine the better, but she must also be proud and virtuous, brave and idealistic. And her attraction to the ominous hero must be based on pity, not fear; he must deserve her idealism. Full review.

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