The Eyre Affair

The Eyre Affair

Book - 2001
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There is another 1985, somewhere in the could-have-been, where dodos are regenerated in home-cloning kits and everyone is disappointed by the ending of Jane Eyre. But in this world there are policemen who can travel across time, a Welsh republic - and a woman called Thursday Next.
Publisher: London : Hodder & Stoughton, 2001.
Branch Call Number: FANTASY
Characteristics: 384 p. ;,25 cm.


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From Library Staff

A hilarious, wacky, and imaginative alternate history set in a Britain where literature is taken very seriously and time travel is the norm. The humour and references will be appreciated by anyone familiar with classic literature. The premise is zany; a wanted criminal is out to kidnap Jane Eyre,... Read More »

In a parallel universe the Crimean war is still going, and the West is controlled by the Goliath Corporation. Thursday Next is a war vet and literary detective who finds herself inside the novel Jane Eyre, and inadvertently alters the course of literary history. Highly recommended for all fans ... Read More »

Mysteries, time travel and literary shenanigans, this book has it all! Join Thursday Next, literary detective extraordinaire as she tries to unravel an unravelling plotline, where the dastardly Acheron Hades is seeking to steal original manuscripts and change the endings.

List - Somewhere in time
Donna_R May 15, 2017

In this alternate universe, the Crimean War is still going. Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next books are so funny and playful and clever, messing with both time travel and literature. His heroine literary detective Thursday Next is a superstar.

List - Jane Eyre reimagined
MomoT Jul 04, 2017

An alternative world where the literary is real and everywhere. The first of the Thursday Next novels it's witty, punny and damn good fun.

From the critics

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Sep 10, 2020

Read this sometime after reading Jane Eyre for maximum enjoyment.

May 07, 2020

The first in a series with a sci-fi element is always a bit harder to follow...but this is a fun trip mixing time travel, alternative realities, and a literature-focused world.

bethscanlon Oct 14, 2019

Try as I may, I can't get into this book. The writing is not interesting enough to continue and I can't keep going long enough to get to the meat and potatoes of the mystery. Love the concept, hate the execution.

Nicr Aug 28, 2019

Imagine a world where kids trade cards of great novel characters and vending machines recite Shakespeare for 10p, where theft of a Dickens manuscript is a $5M loss and a national security incident, where reality "bends" and fictional characters become real, where time is unstable and so is the content of books, where literature majors are in professional demand----this is the alternate reality in which Thursday Next, a Litera Tec, battles the forces of evil to right the wrong of literary crimes.

HCL_staff_reviews Oct 08, 2018

Jump into the zany world of SpecOps, the Chrono Guard, and the Goliath Corporation where our heroine, Thursday Next, will try to save the day. Fforde has created a world where people can time travel and enter books, and characters from novels, such as Great Expectations' Miss Haversham, can enter the real world. Look for characters from all those old favorites in one of the Thursday Next novels, but check your reality at the door. This is the first book in the series. — Jan G., Penn Lake Library

Jan 12, 2018

I loved Fforde's Nursery Crime Division books, but couldn't finish this. Thursday Next too down.

Jun 01, 2017

There was much in this book for a librarian like me to enjoy. The villain was a crafty and seemingly invincible adversary for our heroine SecOps Agent Thursday Next. That brings to mind the quirky names sprinkled throughout including Braxton Hicks and Jack Schitt. Add in the out-of-time pop in visits from her father, the return of the Dodo bird as a pet of choice and the many references to great literature including one of my favorite novels of all time: "Jane Eyre" and you have a book that is worth reading. I will definitely be giving this series some more attention. Without delivering any huge spoilers I must mention one of my favorite moments in the book when Agent Next is in a hospital bed and receives a visit from her future self and partner agent in a multi-colored roadster. Where can I get one of those?!

SquamishLibraryStaff Mar 15, 2017

I have fallen head over heels in love with Jasper Fford’s highly original literary world and am looking forward to his next book. Not sure that I fully approve of Thursday’s romantic choices, but hopefully that will be further fleshed out later in the series.

A note in case anyone is wondering, I might have enjoyed this even more if I’d read “Jane Eyre” first, but it’s not necessary.

Dec 12, 2016

At first I found the novel a little hard to get into, with all the war and military talk and all. But the alternate reality of a literate and literature-knowledgeable citizenry (so unlike our own unfortunate reality) held my interest. Delightful and impressively imaginative story. The narrator was really good at various voices.

Nov 25, 2016

The writing was crisp, the characters felt real, the world was...odd. I wasn't sure what to make of it, whether to take it completely seriously or completely farcical. It is a world where literature is revered to a near spiritual level (there are groups of people proselytizing about who wrote Shakespeare's plays), and whole police bureaus are dedicated to literary crimes. There is some time-travel sillyness thrown in as well, but it's entirely peripheral to the plot, adds more to the world-building and characterization than anything else.

In all, I enjoyed the story, it just made me look sideways at it a few times.

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Oct 23, 2011

"As the saying goes: If you want to get into SpecOps, act kinda weird. We don't tend to pussyfoot around."

Scooteriffic Mar 19, 2011


"Governments and fashions come and go but Jane Eyre is for all time."

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Sep 10, 2020

NicePerson_290 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Brandon Peter Schatz thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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Jul 28, 2013

England 1985: Litera Tec agent Thursday Next must solve the mysterious theft of the original manuscript to Martin Chuzzelwith, the disappearance of Jane Eyre from the book around page 187, and how both relate to the possible end to the Crimean War.

Fantastic read for literature lovers everywhere, especially if you enjoy alternative history narratives

The first in the series of Thursday Next books. Here, we start with the basics, with Thursday working for a division of law enforcement that focuses exclusively on book related crimes. All goes relatively well, until the realms of fiction and reality cross-over in all together unexpected ways, leading to the random (of sorts) of the book Jane Eyre.

Oh, and there's all sorts of other brilliantly dry British and literature related humour.


Add Notices
Sep 10, 2020

Frightening or Intense Scenes: Jane Eyre herself gets KIDNAPPED.

Sep 10, 2020

Violence: People DIE in this book.

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