Saturday 22 September 2007

Talk on Charlotte Brontë's letters to Monsieur Heger

The Brussels Brontë Group is organising a talk on Thursday 18 October at 19.30:

Letters to Brussels: Charlotte Brontë's letters to Constantin Heger

A talk by Derek Blyth (author of Brussels for Pleasure, Blue Guide to Belgium, Flemish Cities Explored, etc.)

The library at Cercle des Voyageurs, Rue des Grands Carmes 18, 1000 Brussels.

Non-members welcome. A charge of €3 will be made to cover the cost of the room. Drinks available from the bar.

Charlotte Brontë's years at the Pensionnat Heger in Brussels studying French under the guidance of Monsieur Heger were two of the most important of her life.

On her return to Haworth, obsessed by the memory of her Belgian teacher, she wrote him a series of increasingly desperate letters, four of which are now preserved in the British Museum. It is nothing short of a miracle that the letters have survived at all. They were torn into small pieces, repaired with needle and thread and then left forgotten in a drawer until 1913.

What was the exact nature of Charlotte's feelings for Heger? What were Mme Heger's precise motives in repairing the letters? Derek Blyth will share his thoughts with us on some of the questions that have intrigued generations of Brontë enthusiasts.

Derek Blyth, who is based in Brussels, is well known for his many books and articles on Belgium. He has been fascinated by Charlotte and Emily's stay in Brussels since re-reading Villette shortly after moving to the city.