The Eyre Affair Summary, Themes, Characters & Synopsis

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About the Novel- The Eyre Affair

TitleThe Eyre Affair
AuthorJasper Fforde
Publication Year2001
PublisherHodder and Stoughton
No. of Pages400 Pages
GenreScience Fiction, Fantasy
SettingAn alternate version of 1985


The characters from “The Eyre Affair” by Jasper Fforde:

  1. Thursday Next ➜ The main hero, a detective.
  2. Acheron Hades ➜ The bad guy, a villain.
  3. Landen Parke-Laine ➜ Thursday’s love interest.


The themes from “The Eyre Affair” by Jasper Fforde:

  1. Books are important The story shows that books are really valuable.
  2. Fiction and reality mix It’s about how stories and real life can get mixed up.
  3. Don’t change classic stories We shouldn’t mess with famous old stories.
  4. Government control The government has too much power in the book’s world.


The story is about a lady named Thursday Next. She lives in a world where people really love books. But something strange happens – a bad guy named Acheron Hades starts stealing characters from famous books!

One day, Hades takes Jane Eyre, who is the main character from a famous book. Thursday has to go inside the book to save Jane and catch Hades.

There are lots of adventures and funny things that happen as Thursday tries to save Jane Eyre and stop Hades from ruining all the books. It’s a mix of detective work and magical book adventures.


British author Jasper Fforde spent nearly fifteen years working in the film business before penning his debut book, an alternate history book titled The Eyre Affair (2001). Fforde claims that the book was rejected 76 times before being picked up by a publisher. However, after its release, it largely garnered favorable reviews that praised its creativity and grasp of several genres.

The book is set in an alternate reality where the Crimean War has been raging between Imperial Russia and the United Kingdom for more than a century. The influential Goliath Corporation, a weapons manufacturer with a financial interest in keeping the country at war, has control over the British government. The public constantly debates literary scholarly topics, often to the point of violence and death. As a result, literature plays a far greater role in society.

The company SpecOps27, which specializes in crimes involving literary works, employs Thursday Next as a LitTech spy. Thursday is a supporter of peace as a Crimean War veteran who lost her brother to the fight, but she is unable to publicly express this due to her position with the government. Thursday is allowed to work with the SpecOps05 branch of her intelligence organization because to her knowledge with the thieving mastermind and wanted felon Acheron Hades. This division is shrouded in such a secret that most agents are unaware of what it accomplishes.

The genuine Martin Chuzzlewit manuscript by Charles Dickens is thought to have been stolen by Hades. When Thursday and the other agents are sent to guard Hades’ home, Hades, who has magical powers, finds them and murders the other agents. During the altercation, Thursday is shot, but the bullet is deflected by a copy of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte that she keeps in her pocket. She is saved from death by an enigmatic outsider who looks much like Edward Rochester from Jane Eyre. Thursday recalls a childhood episode in which she appeared to be able to enter the world of the book and communicate with Rochester as she waited for the paramedics.

Soon later, Thursday runs into a future version of herself who informs her that, contrary to what she had been made to think, Hades was not murdered during his escape. Additionally, her future self advises her to accept a job offer from LitTech in Swindon, her old hometown. Thursday accepts the position after hearing the advice of her avatar from the future, and she soon meets up with her Uncle Mycroft & Aunt Polly, who have recently finished creating a device called the Prose Portal that enables users to join works of fiction.

While in Swindon, Thursday also meets Jack Schitt, a member of the Goliath Corporation who is also looking for Hades and sees her ex-fiance, Landen Parke-Laine. Acheron Hades reappears shortly after to take the Prose Portal. He has learned that editing the tale in the initial draft of any fictional work affects all later versions of that work. He intends to utilize this authority to seize control of the literary community; as proof of his seriousness, he enters Martin Chuzzlewit and murders Mr. Quaverly, a supporting figure. The original manuscript of Jane Eyre is subsequently taken by Hades, who also abducts Jane, forcing all copies of the book to end abruptly in the middle.

When Hades enters Wales, Thursday and Jack pursue him into the original manuscript of Jane Eyre. The novel’s ending differs significantly from the one that is known in the actual world in the universe of The Eyre Affair. The alternate version of Jane Eyre comes to a depressing conclusion with Jane leaving Rochester to join her cousin as a missionary in India.

Over the weeks she spends in the book, Thursday discovers that fictional characters may experience a story’s events an unlimited number of times while being completely unaware of the outcome and helpless to alter it. She resolves to modify the book’s ending to a happy one since she feels bad for Rochester, who must repeatedly lose Jane.

Thursday locates and vanquishes Hades in the pages of Jane Eyre. After that, she makes plans for Jane to remain with Rochester, turning the novel’s alternate ending become the actual one.

When Jack returns to reality, he discloses his actual motivation for using the Prose Portal: he intends to utilize it to get fictitious weaponry for the battle against Russia. At first, Thursday agrees to assist him, but at the very last second, she substitutes a copy of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven,” entangling Jack in the poem. The Prose Portal is then destroyed by her so that it may never again be abused.

A novel that blurs genres and has an irreverent sense of humor is The Eyre Affair. Fforde has now added seven additional novels in two interconnected series to the Thursday Next canon.

About the Author- The Eyre Affair

NameJasper Fforde
Date of BirthJanuary 11, 1961
GenreScience Fiction, Fantasy
Famous Works– The Eyre Affair
– The Well of Lost Plots
– Something Rotten
– First Among Sequels
– The Big Over Easy
– The Fourth Bear

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