REVIEW: Jane by Robin Maxwell
Jane is one of my favorite literary heroines. I first discovered the character in the film Tarzan the Ape Man. As a young girl the actress Maureen O' Sullivan embodied the vision of Jane I carry to this day. I loved Jane's adventurous spirit and how she approached life with a man who swings through trees, with practicality and passion.
I was thrilled to be asked to review a copy of Robin's book. At the opening of the novel it is 1912 and Jane is giving a scientific lecture regarding a skeleton Jane has discovered in Africa. Her findings are met with general disbelief yet there is one ardent admirer among the crowd, struggling writer Edgar Rice Burroughs.
As the two sit together at Edgar's apartment having a drink Jane begins to tell her story. A tale of a groundbreaking female with all the courage and intelligence needed to break through the barriers of Cambridge University's medical school.
Jane is very much a product of her Father's passions and is constant danger of disappointing her mothers sensibilities.
It is a miracle that she makes it to Africa at all on an expediditon with her father and American Ral Conrath. Jane is instantly enamored with Africa yet things change suddenly as she is badly injured and separated from her Father. In and out of consciousness and badly hurt Jane meets the man who will change everything in her life and open her heart to a quite impracticable journey: a journey towards love.
Robin's narrative lives and breathes all the aspects of Jane that I adore. You can feel the respect and love she has for Burroughs stories, but you also get a sense of what Jane means to Robin herself.
This story is a perfect origin for the woman who enters and changes Tarzan's story considerably. Burroughs was ahead of his time with some of the personality quirks in his female characters. Once introduced Tarzan became synonymous with Jane and vice versa. The are a wonderful literary pair, true partners.
Jane is a love letter to the characters Burroughs created and a worthy addition to the legacy of these wonderful characters. A great read.