Wednesday, 1 March 2023

Interior Design in Charlotte Brontë’s ‘Belgian Novels’

Dawn Robey, a former Brussels Brontë Group committee member who now lives in France, returned to Brussels to give a talk to the group on ‘Interior Design in Charlotte Brontë’s “Belgian novels” – The Professor and Villette. In her presentation on Saturday 11 February 2023, Dawn explained how Charlotte uses descriptions of rooms to provide insights into the characters with whom they are associated. 

Through readings and commentary on numerous extracts from The Professor and Villette, Dawn highlighted the details in Charlotte’s descriptions of settings that give clues to character – contrasting, for example, the glitter and gilt of Zoraïde Reuter’s parlour with Frances Henri’s much plainer lodgings. 

Friday, 17 February 2023

Roel Jacobs: Brussels in the Brontës’ time

Roel Jacobs, a leading Belgian historian, provided a great overview of the city of Brussels as Charlotte Brontë would have known it during her stay in the city between 1842 and 1844. Roel Jacobs is one of the specialists on this subject and his enthusiasm was only exceeded by the passion of Myriam’s introduction for his talk on Saturday 11 February 2023.

Wednesday, 26 October 2022

British writers on Belgium and Belgians

Flemish art historian and novelist Leen Huet gave us a delightful talk about how British writers have seen Belgium and Belgians over the centuries, from a literary and artistic point of view. 

Starting with the links between the Belgae and southern Britain that Julius Caesar wrote about in the first century BC, she took us through William Caxton, Tobias Smollett, Lord Byron and more, topping off with Charlotte Brontë’s descriptions in Villette

Monday, 24 October 2022

'UNvictorian' female writers: The Brontës, Rossetti, Eliot

I can already hear you all ask: Why “Un”victorian? These writers – the Brontë sisters, Christina Rossetti and George Eliot – all lived and worked in the Victorian era. When I saw the notice from Amarant for this series of lectures I was as intrigued as you may be by the use of “unvictorian” for the writers mentioned. 

The three lectures were held on Monday afternoons in October in Leuven. And the lecturer Magda Michielsens explained why these writers were considered to be Unvictorian. 

Wednesday, 19 October 2022

Death in Charlotte Brontë’s late novels

In a suitably macabre pre-Halloween presentation, Dr. Edwin Marr gave a fascinating talk on death in Charlotte Brontë’s late novels Shirley and Villette
Both of these works are complex and contradictory texts that grapple with many of the tensions surrounding death, grief and burials, he said in his talk to the Brussels Brontë Group on Saturday 15 October 2022.