The Brontës: Fall 2020 Dashboard


Painting of the sisters by Branwell, ca. 1834

A madwoman in the attic, impassioned love, and a mysterious/abusive past.  Such sensational themes may seem ripped from today’s social media, but, in fact, they are the defining elements of the novels of the Brontë sisters. We will adopt new historicist and gender studies approaches to study arguably the greatest English literary family of the nineteenth century. Readings include Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre (1847), Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights (1847), and Anne Brontë’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1848) as well as poetry by the three sisters and their brother, Branwell. From our study of biography, we will distinguish between Brontëan myths and biographical facts and question why their lives are retold collectively, their works read as a literary canon. Attention will be given to annotation of a Brontë text on The Central Online Victorian Educator (COVE) as well as how illustrators, directors, and actors have visually rendered the novels or recreated them for the big screen. Course work includes 2 papers, the COVE annotation project on Jane Eyre, and an oral presentation (with a PowerPoint) on aspects of Victorian life that inform the Brontë novels; we will conclude with a mini presentation on objects that inform the life of the sisters and their novels. Your regular attendance and participation are essential. The best class discussion occurs when your participation responds thoughtfully to the comments of your peers and moves our discussion deeper into the texts, opening up important, new directions.

Galleries, Timelines, and Maps

Blog entry
Posted by Catherine Golden on Sunday, August 16, 2020 - 18:25

The link above will allow you to move directly to the Anthology of the Brontes' writing. 

Gallery Exhibit
Posted by Catherine Golden on Sunday, August 16, 2020 - 17:47

Letter written by Charlotte to her friend Ellen Nussey

Letter by Charlotte to Ellen Nussey, April 21, 1844

In The Brontë Cabinet, (2015), Deborah Lutz investigates material objects owned by the sisters—e.g. souvenirs, mementos, books, writing desks—to illuminate the sisters’ lives.  Material objects that the sisters created, touched, lived with, and incorporated into their writing help us to set the Brontës’ writing in their cultural moment and to understand each sister better. In our final classes, we will construct our own Brontë cabinet by choosing either an artifact Lutz mentions from the sisters’ lives—writing desks, letters, paintings, etc.—or objects in the sisters’ novels. The object you choose might best be illuminated in context of related objects; for example, the contents of a writing desk might accompany a... more

Individual Entries

Posted by Catherine Golden on Saturday, November 21, 2020 - 17:57
Chronology Entry
Posted by Ellen Turpin on Thursday, November 19, 2020 - 15:07
Posted by Amelia Urquhart on Thursday, November 19, 2020 - 12:29
Posted by Jackie Allaire-... on Wednesday, November 18, 2020 - 23:15
Posted by Ellen Turpin on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 - 11:41
Posted by Kayla Lugo on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 - 09:35
Posted by Ellen Turpin on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 - 01:03
Posted by Sadie Radka on Sunday, November 8, 2020 - 17:31
Posted by Tian Si on Saturday, November 7, 2020 - 17:21
Posted by Sam Sasenarine on Wednesday, November 4, 2020 - 20:42