Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion. To attack the first is not to assail the last…These things and deeds are diametrically opposed: they are as distinct as is vice from virtue. Men too often confound them: they should not be confounded: appearance should not be mistaken for truth; narrow human doctrines, that only tend to elate and magnify a few, should not be substituted for the world-redeeming creed of Christ.

– Charlotte Bronte

Jane Eyre, Preface. Author Charlotte Bronte wrote a preface to the novel’s second edition, after the moral outrage that followed its publication. In it she defends her book against reviewers who criticized it for its immorality and anti-Christian and anti-authority tendencies. She rejects claims that questioning conventions and self-righteousness is an attack on morality and religion. The morality of Jane and Rochester’s love was criticized by the book’s critics.