Dinah Birch, Professor of English Literature at the University of Liverpool, gave a most stimulating and wide-ranging talk on Victorian education systems and the position of women in society when the Brontës were growing up.
She took in religion, school curriculum and the expectations for women, among other topics. What makes a good school, a good teacher? Should education develop the full potential of the child or train them to fill their position in society? Victorian society expected women to work for a wage when only a few decades earlier they were supported by a father, brother or husband.