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 occasional Guided walks around Brontë places in Brussels. Our Reading group specialises in 19th century literature (not just the Brontës!).

Provisional Programme 2021-22

NB. Because of the COVID-19 situation, events and dates may be cancelled or changed.

Talks are likely to be by Zoom but this depends on how the situation develops.

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

Talk (Zoom)

Thursday 14 October 2021

19.00 Talk by Dinah Birch: Education and the Brontë family: Principles and Practice

Dinah Birch is Professor of English Literature at the University of Liverpool. She has published a book on Victorian education (2007) and has written on the subject of ‘The Brontës and Nineteenth-century Educational Ideals’ and ‘Education in Victorian Literature: Charlotte Brontë and Matthew Arnold’. She is a regular broadcaster and recently discussed Jane Eyre in BBC Radio 4’s ‘In Our Time’.

Guided walk

Sunday 17 October 2021

10.00. Guided walk around Brontë places in Brussels in the Place Royale area. The walk takes about 2 hours.

Christmas lunch and entertainment

Saturday 11 December 2021

Member Presentation

Saturday 12 February 2022

Robynn Colwell will talk about how secondary characters can be used in novels as literary devices. She will discuss how secondary or minor characters can help to convey and develop essential themes to the reader or support the character arc of the protagonist. As well as looking at examples in Brontë novels, she will talk about E.M. Forster’s Room with a View and Henry James’ Portrait of a Lady.

Talk (Zoom)

Wednesday 16 March 2022 at 19.00

Simon Marsden: Gothic aspects in Villette

Dr Simon Marsden of Liverpool University will talk about the Gothic aspects of Villette and its relationship to early-nineteenth-century Gothic literature more generally.

Simon Marsden is a senior lecturer at the University of Liverpool. He has a particular interest in the Gothic in literature from the Romantic era to the present. He has written extensively on the work of the Bronte sisters, including a monograph, ‘Emily Bronte and the Religious Imagination’, published by Bloomsbury in 2014


Saturday 30 April 2022 (10.00-14.00)

Université Saint-Louis, Bd du Jardin Botanique 43, Brussels

Jessica Cox: Reading the Brontes in light of contemporary feminist debates 

Jessica Cox is a senior lecturer at Brunel and the author of a biography of Charlotte Brontë for the Hesperus Press ‘Brief Lives’ series (2011). Her research interests include the Brontës, Victorian sensation fiction, first-wave feminism, and neo-Victorianism.

She took part in a recent Brontë Society panel discussion (30 June 2021) on ‘Jane Eyre and Feminism’, with Dinah Birch and Emma Butcher.

Monica Kendall: Do you like the truth? The Brontës and my Family.

Monica Kendall’s book Lies and the Brontës: The Quest for the Jenkins Family was published in April 2021. She will talk about her research discoveries concerning her great-great-grandparents Rev. Evan and Eliza Jenkins, who took care of the Brontë sisters in Brussels, and whom no one researched before. Eliza found the school which the Brontë sisters attended, and she was interviewed by Mrs Gaskell after Charlotte’s death. The sisters attended Evan’s services at the Chapel Royal on many occasions. Monica will debunk many of the stories about Charlotte’s time in Brussels, and give insights into the family that Charlotte knew well over two years, including the Jenkins son who features in Charlotte’s Villette. Her website contains much about her quest and about Brussels: Monica Kendall

Guided walk

Sunday 1 May 2022 at 10.00.

10.00. Guided walk around Brontë places in Brussels in the Place Royale area. The walk takes about 2 hours.

Summer Lunch

Saturday 18 June 2021 (to be confirmed)


Other events of interest

Past events