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 2020-21

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

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

Talk by Zoom

Wednesday 7 October 2020

19.00 Talk by Karen Hewitt: Charlotte Bronte’s quarrel with the English Gentleman in Villette

Charlotte Bronte, the daughter of an Anglican parson, was very aware of her status as the daughter of a ‘gentleman‘. Who exactly was a gentleman in the early nineteenth century, and why did his role matter so much to Bronte? We can see her confidence in handling this theme in Jane Eyre, and examining it without much controversy in Shirley. In the more mature and complex Villette suddenly the whole concept of an English gentleman and the values attached to him are called into question for Lucy Snowe and for her creator. Where exactly does Lucy stand, and how do all the assaults on her consciousness affect her beliefs about what matters?

Karen Hewitt is a long-serving Tutor in Literature at Oxford University Department for Continuing Education. She also teaches English Literature and British affairs in various Russian universities, and is an Honorary Professor of Perm State University. She was awarded an MBE for her academic and cultural work in developing relationships between Russia and the UK.  She enjoys discussing the work of many writers across different historical periods in order to explore puzzling questions about human nature through the medium of literature.

Member Presentations

February 2021

Talks are likely to be by Zoom. Date(s) to be confirmed.

Brian Holland will speak on a subject related to his Master’s dissertation (Fallen women and fearful men in English visual and verbal culture — 1850-70).

Paulina Carlin will speak on the Swedish novelist Fredrika Bremer and her possible links with the Brontës’ novels.

Brussels Brontë Weekend

24-25 April 2021

Venue to be announced. If face-to-face talks are not possible, talks will be by Zoom and the dates may change.

Saturday 24 April 2021

Talk by Rosemary Ashton: Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot and the Woman Question.

Professor Ashton’s talk will focus on four heroines of the novels of Charlotte Brontë and George Eliot: Jane Eyre, Lucy Snowe (Villette), Maggie Tulliver (Mill on the Floss) and Dorothea Brooke (Middlemarch).

For much of her academic career Rosemary Ashton taught English at University College London. She was appointed an OBE in 1999. She is the author of several books including her life of George Eliot (1996).

Presentation by Isabel Greenberg of her book ‘Glass Town’

The graphic artist Isabel Greenberg will present her book ‘Glass Town’ (2020), an exploration of the young Brontës’ fantasy world in a graphic novel that blurs fiction and memoir. ‘An ingenious intertwining of real life and make believe, Glass Town explores the Brontës’ creative impulse and its effect on their lives. It is the perfect combination of clever, crazy, and just a tiny bit creepy, and will appeal to anyone who has wondered about how imagination shapes us, as well as to card-carrying Brontë fans’ (Tracy Chevalier).

Isabel Greenberg is an award-winning graphic designer and illustrator.

Guided walk

Sunday 25 April 2021 at 10.00 (to be confirmed)

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

Brontë Society weekend, Haworth

12-13 June 2021 (dates to be confirmed)

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 19 June 2021 (to be confirmed)

Other events of interest

Past events