Saturday 27 June 2015

Brontë weekend with the Brontë Society and Waterloo bicentenary

A quite unusual Brussels Brontë Group event took place on Saturday 20 June. Due to the bi-centenary of the Battle of Waterloo, which was fought on 18 June 1815, we had the pleasure to welcome a group from the Brontë Society. Since Wellington and Napoleon were early heroes of the Brontës, the Society decided to take this opportunity to organise a visit to Brussels and meet our group. They kindly invited us for a lecture on Saturday morning.

The lecture on The Brontës’ Early Heroes was held by Emma Butcher. Emma is still a student, and already a very accomplished and wonderful speaker. Since Emma is writing her thesis on The Brontës and War, she has done a lot of research into this particular interest of theirs. Apart from some background information on both Napoleon and Wellington, we got an interesting ‘guided tour’ through their Juvenilia creation of Anglia, with their dashing characters of Zamorna (based on Wellington) and Percy (based on Napoleon). It is amazing how imaginative they were. Emma also told us that apart from one woman, Elizabeth Hastings, all the women in their Juvenilia writing are rather helpless creatures. They obviously came a long way, when it was time for them to create their own very strong, female characters.

Lisbeth Ekelof

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