Jane Eyre was the novel that opened my eyes to literature. It was the first classic I picked up that I couldn’t put down. I read it from cover to cover in one heady weekend when I was 13: I had a nightmare about Grace Poole on Saturday night, and a sulk on Sunday afternoon when my mother made me put it down to talk to some cousins who’d come for tea. By Sunday evening I was done and I knew, with a certainty I still remember vividly, that literature was my thing. In the months that followed I devoured Villette, Shirley, The Professor, Wuthering Heights, Agnes Grey, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, the juvenilia – any scraps of Brontë I could get my hands on. I joined the Brontë Society, ploughed my way through each issue of the Brontë Journal, Transactions, and made my long-suffering parents take me to the Parsonage at Haworth.