I had no solace from self-approbation: none even from self-respect


Senior Member
The quotation comes from Charlotte Brontë – Jane Eyre (Chap. 27) | Genius

Quotation: In the midst of my pain of heart and frantic effort of principle, I abhorred myself. I had no solace from self-approbation: none even from self-respect. I had injured—wounded—left my master. I was hateful in my own eyes.

Context: Jane had fled Thornfield, which means she had left Mr. R.
Hi everyone! I don't quite understand the bold part. The literal meaning seems clear. But how the words "self-approbation" and "self-respect" work? I'm not sure. Is it fine to interpret it as below?

approbation => 2.2 The action of formally or authoritatively declaring good or true; sanction. [OED]
self-approbation => e.g, declaring myself morally good to refuse the temptation of living with him.

self-respect => e.g, justifying my decision to leave him with "I must respect myself. I can't be his mistress".

Neither "self-approbation" nor "self-respect" can console her. Hence "I had no solace from...."
  • Truffula

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    Jane neither approved of her own actions (solace from self-approbation) nor did she even respect her own motives and situation (solace from self-respect). I think this is because she is in love with Mr. R so she is regarding having hurt him as unjustified in the extreme.


    Senior Member
    English - USA
    I think so. I'd say "I had no solace from..." in modern paraphrase would be "I could take no solace in..."

    I don't think solace is used as a reflexive verb so "she didn't solace herself" doesn't sound quite right to me. Usually solace is a noun meaning reassurance or consolation.