She heeded nothing of what I said; but when she had tasted the water and drawn breath, she went on thus: – “I tell you I could not forget it, and I took my revenge; for you to be adopted by your uncle, and placed in a state of ease and comfort, was what I could not endure. I wrote to him; I said I was sorry for his disappointment, but Jane Eyre was dead…You were born, I think, to be my torment; my last hour is racked by the recollection of a deed which, but for you, I should never have been tempted to commit.”

– Charlotte Bronte

Jane Eyre, Chapter 21. The dying Mrs. Reed admits to taking out her revenge on the orphan child Jane by sabotaging her adoption by her financially secure uncle. Rather than see Jane move to a life of comfort, Mrs. Reed told her uncle that Jane was dead, thus denying the one thing Jane wanted in life – family. Mrs. Reed never forgave Jane for the way she turned on her as a child.