Charlotte Brontë’s bemused, if not horrifi ed, response to a Jane Eyre which was on stage in London only three months after the publication of her novel is well known. Until recently, however, nothing was known about the play, its author or the circumstances of its performance, although the information was not hard to fi nd.2 The reason seems to be that before the advent of cultural studies, this kind of theatrical event fell between the traditional fi elds of literary and dramatic scholarship. Literary critics, focused on the unique qualities of Charlotte Brontë’s novel, saw adaptations only as travesties of her text, while for theatre critics, adaptations by defi nition lacked dramatic authenticity.