The Brussels Brontë Group organises meetings and events in Brussels throughout the year, including an annual weekend of 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 2019-20

Registration essential for all events. To register, contact Helen MacEwan.

Venue for talks: Gemeenschapscentrum Op-Weule, rue Saint Lambert 91, 1200 Woluwe Saint Lambert (next to Woluwe Shopping Centre).  Registration essential for all events.

Saturday 12 October 2019

10.30 (doors open at 10.00): Talk by Dr Patsy Stoneman: A little romance’? Taking liberties with Brontë biography

We are delighted to welcome back Patsy Stoneman, Vice-President of the Brontë Society, who spoke to our Group in 2012 on feminist readings of Jane Eyre (‘Jane Eyre’ from then till now) and in 2008 on film adaptations of Wuthering Heights.

The enduring fascination in the Brontës spawns a huge amount of biography and biographical fiction about the world’s most famous literary family. Dr Patsy Stoneman will take a look at this phenomenon. The name of her talk is a quotation from Patrick Bronte, father of the four siblings; when a friend commiserated with him about the liberties Elizabeth Gaskell had taken in her Life of Charlotte Brontë, his reply was ‘Mrs Gaskell is a novelist, you know, and must be allowed a little romance’.

Patsy Stoneman, Emeritus Reader in English at the University of Hull, is a distinguished Brontë scholar. She has published many critical studies on the Brontës and has taken a particular interest in their cultural ‘afterlife’, for example the stage and film adaptations of their novels. Her publications include Bronte Transformations: The Cultural Dissemination of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights.

14.00: Interview with Nathalie Stalmans, author of Si j’avais des ailes.

Following on from Patsy Stoneman’s talk in the morning, we will take a look at a recent work of biographical fiction. We’ll be talking to the Belgian historical novelist Nathalie Stalmans, whose novel Si j’avais des ailes, about Charlotte Brontë’s time at the Pensionnat Heger in 1842-43, was published earlier this year.

The novel opens in 1856, a year after Charlotte’s death. Elizabeth Gaskell is about to visit the Pensionnat to gather information for her Life of Charlotte Brontë. The visitor is awaited with mixed feelings at the school and Charlotte’s stay is told in flashback by various narrators, some sympathetic to her, some hostile. The Brussels background is vividly depicted and this is an engaging look at Charlotte Brontë by a writer who is a native of ‘Villette’.

Nathalie Stalmans is a historian and history teacher. Her previous novels include Finis Terrae and Le vent du boulet, set in the 17th and 18th centuries respectively, which blend real and imaginary elements to create stories around the inhabitants of a real house in Rue Neuve in Brussels.

Guided walk

Sunday 13 October 2019 at 10.00

This two-hour walk features Brontë places in the Place Royale area. To register, contact Helen MacEwan

Christmas Lunch & Entertainment

Saturday 7 December 2019

AGM and Member Presentation

Saturday 15 February 2020

10.00: AGM of the Brussels Brontë Group

11.00: Member presentations. Mark Cropper will give an interactive presentation on mind mapping and how he applies it to note-taking during our talks, and Emelie Sannen will speak about Anne Brontë’s poetry.

Brussels Brontë Weekend

25-26 April 2020

Saturday 25 April 2020

11.00 (doors open at 10.30): Presentation: The Brontës and fan fiction

Ana Gauthier will give a presentation on the phenomenon of fan fiction, with special reference to fiction inspired by the Brontës.

14.30: Talk by Samantha Ellis: Why Anne Brontë didn’t go to Brussels and why it matters 

2020 is the bicentenary of the birth of Anne Brontë, who has always been overshadowed by her two elder sisters. To celebrate it we have invited Samantha Ellis, the writer who had done so much to bring Anne into the limelight and highlight her strengths both as a person and writer.

Samantha Ellis’ Take Courage: Anne Bronte and the Art of Life (2017) takes a personal, poignant and surprising journey into the life and work of ‘the other Brontë sister’, viewing her as a brave, strongly feminist writer well ahead of her time – and her more celebrated siblings – with much to teach us today about how to find our way in the world.

Samantha, a British writer, playwright and journalist, is also the author of How to be a Heroine (2014).

Guided walk

Sunday 26 April 2020 at 10.00

This two-hour walk features Brontë places in the Place Royale area. To register, contact Helen MacEwan

Brontë Society weekend, Haworth

13-14 June 2020

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

Summer Lunch

Saturday 20 June 2020

Other events of interest

Past events