The Brussels Brontë Group organises meetings and events in Brussels throughout the year. Each year we organise our Brussels Brontë weekend: events around the date of Charlotte Brontë’s birthday (21 April). We organise regular Guided walks around Brontë places in Brussels. Our Reading group specialises in 19th century literature (not just the Brontës!).
Provisional programme 2017-18
Registration essential for all events. To register, contact Helen MacEwan.
Brussels Brontë Weekend
14 October 2017
Talk by Helen MacEwan
15 October 2017
This two-hour walk features Brontë places in the Place Royale area. Entrance fee: €10. To register, contact Helen MacEwan 10am, 15 October 2017
Christmas Lunch & Entertainment
9 December 2017
24 February 2018
11.00 (door opens at 10.30)
Jones Hayden: Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre, and Brussels. How the Belgian capital influenced the writing of one of the greatest novels in English literature.
Charlotte Brontë’s time in Brussels in 1842-43 was crucial to her development as an author. Her Belgian experience is plainly evident in Villette, her final novel, but less so in Jane Eyre, the masterpiece that rocketed her to fame in 1847. Jones Hayden explores the impact of Brussels on the creation of Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester.
Jones Hayden, a journalist and long-time resident of Belgium, leads guided walks about the Brontës’ time in Brussels, runs the Brussels Brontë Group’s 19th-century book-discussion group and organizes the annual Christmas lunch and quiz. Jones, who worked for 10 years in New York City before moving to Belgium, has a journalism degree from the University of Maryland and an MBA from New York University.
Ola Podstawka: We need to talk about Branwell …
Wastrel, genius, true author of Wuthering Heights? Even though we celebrate his brilliant sisters, we often write off the Brontё brother as the family joke. We have maybe even (almost) overlooked the fact that it was his bicentenary last year. It is, indeed, high time we talked about Branwell: who was really hiding behind the pillar in the family portrait? In her short talk, Ola will address some of the popular images and myths of Branwell Brontё, and try to get to the facts behind them.
Aleksandra (Ola) Podstawka is a Polish expat living in Brussels. She has a degree in Management as well as Foreign Languages, and is currently trying to manage her day job in marketing research and a gruelling novel-reading schedule. Her interest in the Brontёs started when she first read Wuthering Heights way past her bedtime as a teenager, and was cemented when she first heard Charlotte’s fiery letters quoted during the Brontё tour in Brussels. Now she moderates one of our 19th-century book groups and tries to make sense of social media for the Brussels Brontё Group.
Venue: Gemeenschapscentrum Op-Weule, rue Saint Lambert 91, 1200 Woluwe Saint Lambert (near Woluwe Shopping Centre), Non-members €5, members free. Registration essential for all events. To register, contact Helen MacEwan
Brussels Brontë Weekend
21 April 2018
11:00 Talk by Lucasta Miller – The Brontë Myth: Emily Brontë’s legacy
Dr Lucasta Miller is a writer and critic. Her The Bronte Myth (2001) chronicles the history of ‘Brontëmania’ in a fascinating combination of biography, literary criticism and history. It traces the evolution of the public personae of Charlotte and Emily Brontë since the first biography of the family by Elizabeth Gaskell, showing how they have been reinterpreted by each generation and cast as everything from domestic saints to sex-starved hysterics.
14:30 Meet John Sutherland
John Sutherland is Emeritus Professor of Modern English Literature at University College London. A specialist in Victorian fiction, he is the author of 18 books including the two books of classic fiction puzzles Is Heathcliff a Murderer? and Can Jane Eyre Be Happy? He will chat about his miscellany of Brontë curiosities The Brontësaurus: An A–Z of Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë (and Branwell), published in 2016, and take questions.
Venue: Gemeenschapscentrum Op-Weule, rue Saint Lambert 91, 1200 Woluwe Saint Lambert (next to Woluwe Shopping Centre). One talk: Non-members €10, members €5. Two talks: non-members €15, members €7. Registration essential for all events. To register, contact Helen MacEwan
22 April 2018
This two-hour walk features Brontë places in the Place Royale area. Entrance fee: €10.
10am, 22 April 2018, to register, contact Helen MacEwan
Brontë Society weekend, Haworth
9-10 June 2018
Join Brussels Group members for the annual weekend of events in Haworth, Yorkshire, organised by the Brontë Society, UK. Talks, walks on the moors and excursions
9-10 June 2018
16 June 2018
Launch of the book Through Belgian Eyes: Charlotte Brontë’s Troubled Brussels Legacy, by Helen MacEwan.
Thursday 7 December at 19.00 at Waterstones bookstore, Boulevard Adolphe Max 71, 1000 Brussels. More information here.