Brontë, Literature, Reviews, Uncategorized

Brizecombe Hall: A Short and Sweet Jane Eyre-Inspired Read

As regular readers of Brontë Babe Blog will know, I am obsessed with all things Brontë. I’m currently making my way through a Jane Eyre-inspired novel by Tracy Neiss called Mr. R: A Rock & Roll Romance which has been entertaining me on my morning train journeys to work. I hope to have this finished and reviewed soon. However, this week I stumbled upon a short, Brontë inspired story after reading a review on Goodreads by a rather brilliant Brontë blogger. Seriously, click here to check out The Eyre Guide if you haven’t already discovered this gem of a blog. The short story/novella is Brizecombe Hall by Catherine E. Chapman, a Jane Eyre-inspired tale of the attraction between a young governess, Ann Rhys, and her wealthy master, Mr Brindley.

Brizecombe Hall

The storyline is a much more stripped-back version of Jane Eyre, but it certainly follows the same track: a young governess goes to work for the rich Mr Brindley in order to teach his two young children due to his frequent absences from home, but the attraction between them is undeniable. There is a sense Mr Brindley tries to resist his feelings by inviting the beautiful Cassandra Newbold, a character reminiscent of Blanche Ingram, to stay at his estate. Ann, however, is eventually called back home to deal with a family emergency, threatening the spark between her and her master.

There are some nice touches in there and references to other Brontë works as well as Charlotte’s. Unlike Jane, Ann Rhys is not an orphan but the daughter of a clergyman which I see as both a reference to Anne Brontë and Agnes Grey, and the Brontë patriarch, Patrick. I also wonder whether the name Rhys is a little tribute to Jean Rhys, author of another piece of Jane Eyre-inspired fiction, Wide Sargasso Sea. There are also little nods to Emily Brontë in Ann’s love of walking on the moors and nature. The name of one of Ann’s sisters, Mariah, is also a nod to both Maria Brontës.

The short length meant I was able to stick to Brizecombe Hall and finish it fairly quickly. It’s an enjoyable and sweet read that is pleasantly written and I found myself disappointed that it didn’t go on for longer. I found the characters to be engaging and likeable, and there is a suitable air of mystery about Mr Brindley that would do Mr Rochester proud. This could easily have been the opening of a longer narrative, but I enjoyed it for what it was. It’s actually free to purchase from Amazon UK’s Kindle store right now so go and get yourself a copy.


In Loving Memory of Bob the Bichon (2007-2019).

A lover of life, the Brontës, and Haworth who knows that I’m just going to write because I can’t help it

Please do not copy, share, or use the images from this post without seeking permission first.


13 thoughts on “Brizecombe Hall: A Short and Sweet Jane Eyre-Inspired Read”

    1. I’ve never seen the film. You’ll have to let me know if it’s any good. It was tough, but letting Bob go was the best thing to do for him in the end. Thanks for reading 🙂


  1. Brizecombe Hall sounds a pleasant read. I should dig out my kindle! It’s very old and I haven’t uploaded anything onto it for a long time. I might go find it now. This would be a good holiday read I think. X

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Many thanks for this post and your review, Nicola. Use of the name Rhys was, I think, a subconscious reference to Wide Sargasso Sea. Another reviewer pointed this out years ago, when my story was first published! I do love that book – because it draws on Jane Eyre but is so utterly different in the way it’s written.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely little post, Nicola! I now have to read and look forward to every new post on your blog and will also take the time to look at some of the older posts I haven’t read; that’s how much I like and enjoy your blog.
    I’m currently reading “Ill Will” by Michael Stewart, a story about what happened to Heathcliff between his disappearance and return, and am enjoying it. I wonder if you have read it and if you are planning to review it some time in the future. 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Vesna, I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I love looking at the beautiful photography you put on your blog. You’re so talented with a camera/phone. It’s very inspiring. I have Ill Will sat on my shelf waiting to be read. I’m hoping to get to it in the next few weeks; it sounds so intriguing! x


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