Prismatic Jane Eyre

An Experiment in the Study of Translations

Jane Eyre covers

Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre has been translated hundreds of times into more than 60 different languages. Each translation brings not only losses but also gains and transformations in understanding, expression, and political and imaginative energies. The Prismatic Jane Eyre project set out to discover how we can grasp the dizzying textual and linguistic proliferation of the text, and what we can learn by studying it.

Many of the digital outputs of the project are now available to access through the SDS portal, in two important collections.

First, the project produced a set of Maps designed to convey in different ways, with different exploratory approaches, the proliferation of Jane Eyre translations over time and across the globe

Second, the Close Reading collection assembles a series of visualisations designed to explore the variety of ways in which people have interpreted and imagined the book, including animations of multiple translations of individual 'prismatic words' that are particularly important in the novel, and two extended prismatic passages: the 'red-room' and the 'shape' in Jane's bedroom.

Digital materials - interactive maps and verbal animations - had become a crucial part of the research for Prismatic Jane Eyre: as the project reached its conclusion, I was keen to preserve them for future readers and researchers. So Sustainable Digital Scholarship came as a gift: Catherine, Mark and the rest of the team were expert, helpful and flexible, and it is a joy now to see the our data arrayed, neatly and safely, on the SDS platform, and connected to the book of the project, Prismatic Jane Eyre: Close-Reading a World Novel Across Languages ( ).

Professor Matthew Reynolds

Professor of English and Comparative Criticism