Prismatic Jane Eyre: Close-Reading a World Novel Across Languages - cover image


Matthew Reynolds

Published On





  • English

Print Length

896 pages (viii+888)


Paperback156 x 62 x 234 mm(6.14" x 2.44" x 9.21")
Hardback156 x 48 x 234 mm(6.14" x 1.89" x 9.21")


Paperback1668g (58.84oz)
Hardback1421g (50.12oz)

OCLC Number





  • FBC
  • DS
  • DSBF
  • DSM


  • D
  • DS
  • DSK
  • HBLL


  • FIC098040
  • LIT004120
  • LIT024040
  • LIT020000


  • PR4167.J5


  • adaptation studies
  • comparative analysis
  • feminism
  • Jane Eyre
  • publishing history
  • reception studies
  • translation studies

Prismatic Jane Eyre

Close-Reading a World Novel Across Languages

Jane Eyre, written by Charlotte Brontë and first published in 1847, has been translated more than six hundred times into over sixty languages. Prismatic Jane Eyre argues that we should see these many re-writings, not as simple replications of the novel, but as a release of its multiple interpretative possibilities: in other words, as a prism.

Prismatic Jane Eyre develops the theoretical ramifications of this idea, and reads Brontë’s novel in the light of them: together, the English text and the many translations form one vast entity, a multilingual world-work, spanning many times and places, from Cuba in 1850 to 21st-century China; from Calcutta to Bologna, Argentina to Iran. Co-written by many scholars, Prismatic Jane Eyre traces the receptions of the novel across cultures, showing why, when and where it has been translated (and no less significantly, not translated – as in Swahili), and exploring its global publishing history with digital maps and carousels of cover images. Above all, the co-authors read the translations and the English text closely, and together, showing in detail how the novel’s feminist power, its political complexities and its romantic appeal play out differently in different contexts and in the varied styles and idioms of individual translators. Tracking key words such as ‘passion’ and ‘plain’ across many languages via interactive visualisations and comparative analysis, Prismatic Jane Eyre opens a wholly new perspective on Brontë’s novel, and provides a model for the collaborative close-reading of world literature.

Prismatic Jane Eyre is a major intervention in translation and reception studies and world and comparative literature. It will also interest scholars of English literature, and readers of the Brontës.


The strength of this project is its plurality, openness, and open-endedness, its sensitivity to the dynamism of translation acts over time, space, and cultures. This volume provides a stimulating model of comparative study but also delivers up material useful for launching a deeper dive into a particular location or language or historical moment.

Lynne Tatlock

Director of Comparative Literature, Washington University in St.Louis

Additional Resources

[article]Jane Eyre translated: 57 languages show how different cultures interpret Charlotte Brontë’s classic novel

This piece in The Conversation gives a window onto the early stages of the research. Published: September 27, 2019.

[video]Video Series: Prismatic Jane Eyre: Close-Reading a World Novel Across Languages

Dive into the world of literary exploration with our curated playlist featuring the authors of 'Prismatic Jane Eyre: Close-Reading a World Novel Across Languages.' Join the minds behind this book as they delve into the intricacies of their essays, offering a thought-provoking journey through the prism of languages and cultures that shape Charlotte Brontë's timeless classic.



(pp. 10–19)
  • Matthew Reynolds
  • Matthew Reynolds
  • Yousif M. Qasmiyeh
  • Matthew Reynolds
  • Annmarie Drury
  • Matthew Reynolds
  • Ana Teresa Marques dos Santos
  • Cláudia Pazos-Alonso
  • Matthew Reynolds
  • Eugenia Kelbert

VIII. Conclusions

(pp. 776–779)
  • Matthew Reynolds


Matthew Reynolds

Professor of English and Comparative Criticism at University of Oxford

Matthew Reynolds is Professor of English and Comparative Criticism at the University of Oxford, where he chairs the Oxford Comparative Criticism and Translation Research Centre (OCCT). Among his books are Prismatic Translation (2019), Translation: A Very Short Introduction (2016), The Poetry of Translation: From Chaucer & Petrarch to Homer & Logue (2011), Likenesses (2013), The Realms of Verse: English Poetry in a Time of Nation-Building (2001), and the novels Designs for a Happy Home (2009) and The World Was All Before Them (2013). He is Chair of the International Comparative Literature Association’s Research Development Committee, General Editor of the Legenda book series Transcript, and a Member of the Academia Europaea.

Andrés Claro

Professor at University of Chile

Andrés Claro (Santiago, Chile) is a philosopher, essayist and university professor. He undertook his postgraduate studies in philosophy and Literature at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (Paris) and at Oxford University. His work has interrogated extensively the ways in which poetic conceptions and figurations shape characteristic worlds, spatial-temporal configurations, with particular attention to translation processes. To a series of essays on poetics, theory of language and culture — most recently, the trilogy of books La Creación (2014), Imágenes de mundo (2016), and Tiempos sin fin (2018) — he adds two major books: La Inquisición y la Cábala, un capítulo de la diferencia entre ontología y exilio (1996; 2nd. ed., 2009) and Las Vasijas Quebradas, cuatro variaciones sobre la ‘tarea del traductor’ (2012). He has published collections of poems and literary translations from various languages. He teaches in the Doctorate in Philosophy (Aesthetics) at the Universidad de Chile and has been visiting professor in universities in Latin America, Europe and the United States.

Annmarie Drury

Associate Professor of English at City University of New York

Annmarie Drury is the author of Translation as Transformation in Victorian Poetry (2015), the translator and editor of Stray Truths: Selected Poems of Euphrase Kezilahabi (2015), and the editor of The Imaginative Vision of Abdilatif Abdalla’s Voice of Agony, which is forthcoming. She studies poetry and cultures of translation in the British nineteenth century and in Swahiliphone East Africa, and she writes and translates poetry. She is writing a book about tropes and politics of listening in Victorian poetry. She is Associate Professor of English at Queens College, City University of New York.

Mary Frank


Mary Frank is a freelance translator from French and German to English. She also researches translation and teaches translation theory and practice. Her research interests are the interplay/opposition of translation theory and practice and the development of approaches to translating in the presence of significant cultural gaps between the source and target cultures. She made the first translations into English of satirical short stories by popular East German author Ottokar Domma. She has served on the editorial board of The Linguist magazine and on the committee of Women in German Studies.

Paola Gaudio

Aggregate Professor of English Language and Translation at Università degli Studi di Bari Aldo Moro

Paola Gaudio is Aggregate Professor of English Language and Translation at the University of Bari Aldo Moro (Italy), where she teaches undergraduate and postgraduate courses in English for Statistics. Her research interests range from nineteenth and twentieth century anglophone literature to translation theory and specialized languages. More recently, she has worked as Literary Translation expert for the European Commission, and as Quality Assurance expert for the Italian National Agency for the Evaluation of Universities and Research Institutes. She enjoys approaching literary studies from a Digital Humanities perspective — which has led to the creation of visual representations of her findings, such as the emotional fingerprints of source and target texts, and 2D animations of prismatic scenes (‘Red-Room’ and ‘Shape’ in Jane’s bedroom passages).

Rebecca Ruth Gould

Professor of Islamic World and Comparative Literature at University of Birmingham

Rebecca Ruth Gould is the author of Writers and Rebels: The Literature of Insurgency in the Caucasus (2016), which won the University of Southern California Book Prize in Literary and Cultural Studies and the best book of the year award from the Association for Women in Slavic Studies, The Persian Prison Poem: Sovereignty and the Political Imagination (2021), and, most recently, Erasing Palestine: Free Speech and Palestinian Freedom, forthcoming in 2023. She is Professor of Islamic World and Comparative Literature, at the University of Birmingham, where she directs the ERC-funded Global Literary Theory Project.

Jernej Habjan


Jernej Habjan is a fellow at the Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts. Recently, he was a Fung Global Fellow at the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, Princeton University. He held a postdoctoral appointment in the research group ‘Globalization and Literature’, University of Munich, and is a former member of the ICLA Research Committee on Literary Theory. Jernej is the author of Ordinary Literature Philosophy: Lacanian Literary Performatives between Austin and Rancière (2020). His essays in literary theory have appeared in Interventions, the Journal of Global History, Neohelicon, and South Atlantic Quarterly.

Yunte Huang


Yunte Huang is a professor of English at the University of California, Santa Barbara. A Guggenheim Fellow, he is the author of Transpacific Imaginations (2008) and Charlie Chan (2010), which won the Edgar Award and was a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. His most recent book Inseparable (2018), also a finalist for the NBCC award, was named Best Book of the Year by the New York Times, NPR, and Newsweek. He has published articles in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, PMLA, and others, and has been featured on NPR, CBS, C-SPAN, and others. His new book, Chinese Whispers, is forthcoming in 2022.

Eugenia Kelbert

Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at University of East Anglia
Co-Director of UEA’s East Centre for the study of East-Central Europe and the former Soviet space at University of East Anglia

Eugenia Kelbert is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the University of East Anglia and Co-Director of UEA’s East Centre for the study of East-Central Europe and the former Soviet space. She specialises in comparative literature, translation studies, literary bilingualism, modernism, poetry, stylistics and digital humanities (especially stylometry). Her dissertation on translingual literature (Yale University, 2015) won the ACLA’s Charles Bernheimer Prize; she is completing a monograph on translingualism and researching a second book project on translation and cross-lingual stylistics. Other projects include recent and forthcoming publications, notably, in Target: International Journal of Translation Studies, Meta: Translators’ Journal, and Modernism/Modernity.

Ulrich Timme Kragh

Visiting Fellow at Apabhramsha Sahitya Academy

Ulrich Timme Kragh is a scholar of Asian Languages and Cultures, currently researching as a Visiting Fellow at the Apabhramsha Sahitya Academy in Jaipur, India. He has previously taught at Florida State University and the University of Sydney. He has also served as a researcher at Harvard University, Geumgang University, Leiden University, the Australian National University, the University of Copenhagen, and Adam Mickiewicz University. He was the principal investigator of the project ‘Narrative Modes of Historical Discourse in Asia’ funded by the European Research Council. His publications concern medieval Indian philosophy and religion, yogic traditions in Tibet and Pakistan, and theories of history and literature in East Asia, India, and Tibet.

Abhishek Jain

Bhagwan Mallinath Visiting Assistant Professor of Jain Studies and Comparative Theology at Loyola Marymount University

Abhishek Jain is Bhagwan Mallinath Visiting Assistant Professor of Jain Studies and Comparative Theology at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. He was previously a research fellow of classical and medieval Indian studies at the International Institute for Asian Studies at Leiden University in the Netherlands. Having completed an education in Sanskrit and Indian philosophy in India, he became a doctoral student in the project ‘Narrative Modes of Historical Discourse in Asia’ funded by the European Research Council. He obtained the PhD degree from Adam Mickiewicz University in 2021 with the dissertation ‘Emplotment and Historicity: Narrative Modes of Historical Discourse in the Prabandhakośa’. His research is focused on Indian philosophy, the religion of Jainism, and theories of narrative and history.

Ida Klitgård

Associate Professor at the Department of Communication and Arts at Roskilde University

Ida Klitgård is an Associate Professor at the Department of Communication and Arts, Roskilde University, Denmark. She holds a Danish cand.mag. degree in English and Translation Studies and an MPhil degree in Modernist Studies from Glasgow University. In 2007 she was awarded a Dr.Phil (Habilitation doctoral degree) with the monograph Fictions of Hybridity: Translating Style in James Joyce’s Ulysses (2007). Klitgård has published widely on Virginia Woolf, James Joyce and translation studies. Recent studies include covert interlingual translation in Danish university students’ academic writing and studies in satire, disinformation and health communication.

Léa Rychen


Léa Rychen is Chief Editor of imagoDei, a French-speaking multimedia platform reflecting on the interactions between culture, the arts, and beliefs. While completing a Master’s degree in English, Spanish, and Translation at the Université de Lorraine in Nancy, France, she worked as a translator for various publishing houses and companies. She then studied Theology and Apologetics at Oxford, where she completed the Certificate in Theological Studies at Wycliffe Hall and the program of OCCA the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics. She now lives in Geneva and develops the imagoDei media for the French-speaking world.

Madli Kütt

Lecturer in French language at Estonian Military Academy

Madli Kütt is an Estonian translator and lecturer in French language at the Estonian Military Academy. She is currently working on her dissertation ‘The Fictional Subject and Imaginative Views in Marcel Proust’s ’A la recherche du temps perdu’ and its translation into Estonian’, and has published articles on the topic. Her research interests are centred on literary translation, particularly concentrating on theories of fictionality, mental imagery in the processes of writing and translation, and ’small literatures’.

Ana Teresa Marques dos Santos


Ana Teresa Marques dos Santos holds a Ph.D. in Translation Studies (University of Warwick), and is a Lector at the University of Aveiro in Portugal. Her key research interests are in translation history, including flows and reception. She has published on radio broadcast translations, the translation and censorship of William Faulkner and Oscar Wilde, and the dissemination of Brazilian translations and Spanish literature during the Portuguese New State regime. She is a member of the ‘Intercultural Literature in Portugal 1930-2000’ research project, based at three universities in Lisbon. She is currently researching literary women translators in Portugal.

Cláudia Pazos-Alonso

Professor of Portuguese and Gender Studies at University of Oxford

Cláudia Pazos-Alonso is Professor of Portuguese and Gender Studies, University of Oxford. Her research interests range across nineteenth and twentieth-century Lusophone literature. Book publications include Francisca Wood and Nineteenth-Century Periodical Culture: Pressing for Change (2020); Antigone Daughters? Gender, Genealogy, and the Politics of Authorship in 20th-Century Portuguese Women’s Writing (2011, with Hilary Owen), Imagens doEu na Poesia de Florbela Espanca (1997). She has also co-edited the volumes Reading Literature in Portuguese (2013), A Companion to Portuguese Literature (2009), and Closer to the Wild Heart: Essays on Clarice Lispector (2002) and guest-edited journal issues on major contemporary authors such as Lidia Jorge and Mia Couto.

Eleni Philippou

Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Oxford Comparative Criticism and Translation Research Centre at University of Oxford

Eleni Philippou is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Oxford Comparative Criticism and Translation Research Centre at the University of Oxford. She is also the Principal Investigator of the AHRC-funded Prismatic Jane Eyre Schools project, which follows on from her postdoctoral work on the OWRI-funded Creative Multilingualism project. Her monograph, Speaking Politically: Adorno and Postcolonial Fiction (2021), explores the implications of Adorno’s philosophy for literary studies, particularly in relation to texts that emerge from situations of political extremity. Her key research interests are postcolonial and world literature, contemporary poetry, critical theory, comparative literature, and translation studies. Furthermore, she is an award-winning poet, with a number of poems published in both British and international anthologies and journals.

Yousif M. Qasmiyeh


Yousif M. Qasmiyeh is a poet and translator whose DPhil research at the University of Oxford’s English Faculty explores containment and time in ‘refugee writing’ in English and Arabic. His collection, Writing the Camp (2021), was the Poetry Book Society’s recommendation for spring 2021; was highly commended by the 2021 Forward Prizes for Poetry; and was shortlisted for the 2022 Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize. His second collection, Eating the Archive, was published in 2023. His work has appeared in journals and magazines including Modern Poetry in Translation, Stand, Critical Quarterly, GeoHumanities, Cambridge Literary Review, New England Review, Poetry London and PN Review. He is Creative Encounters Editor of the Migration and Society journal, Writer-in-Residence of the Refugee Hosts research project, and Joint Lead of the Imagining Futures Baddawi Camp Lab.

Céline Sabiron

Senior Lecturer in British literature at University of Lorraine

Céline Sabiron is Senior Lecturer in British literature at Université de Lorraine (Nancy, France). Her research deals with the concept of literary transfers through her main focus which is translation, both in the sense of a change of languages, and of a transaction between two cultures, and in particular Britain (Scotland) and France in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Her recent publications include Romanticism and Time (2021) co-edited with S. Laniel-Musitelli, Textuality and Translation (2020) with C. Chauvin, and a special EJES issue Decentering Commemorations (2021), with J. Tranmer. She is one of the three organisers of the ARIEL project (

Kayvan Tahmasebian

Research fellow at the Global Literary Theory project at University of Birmingham
Bahari Visiting Fellow in the Persian Arts of the Book at the Bodleian Libraries at University of Oxford

Kayvan Tahmasebian is a research fellow at the Global Literary Theory project (University of Birmingham) and a Bahari Visiting Fellow in the Persian Arts of the Book, at the Bodleian Libraries, Oxford. With Rebecca Ruth Gould he translated House Arrest: Poems of Hasan Alizadeh (2022) and High Tide of the Eyes: Poems by Bijan Elahi (2019).

Giovanni Pietro Vitali

Associate Professor in Digital Humanities at Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines

Giovanni Pietro Vitali is Associate Professor in Digital Humanities at the University of Versailles Saint Quentin en Yvelines–Paris-Saclay University. Previously, he was lecturer in Italian studies at the University of Lorraine and University of Poitiers, and a Marie S. Curie Research Fellow working on Last Letters from the World Wars: Forming Italian Language, Identity and Memory in Texts of Conflict. He is the author of Voices of Dissent Interdisciplinary Approaches to New Italian Popular and Political Music (2020). He is widely active in the field of Digital Humanities, specializing in NPL, Textometry, Stilometry, Mapping and Data Visualization, and participating in initiatives at the Universities of Lepizig, Lorraine, Poitiers, Neuchâtel and Verona, and the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, as well as in Prismatic Jane Eyre. His code can be found at