Events Calendar
Oct 4 - Nov 8
10:30 - 12:30
The Life and Works of the Brontës
Short courses

6 weeks: 4, 11, 18, 25 October; 1, 8 November

Fridays: 10.30 – 12.30

Course code: 19TON403

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The works of three sisters from an obscure Yorkshire parsonage have gained enduring popularity, partly because of their engagement with important contemporary concerns and partly because of a fascination with the mythology that has grown up regarding their lives. 

We will begin with Jane Eyre and Villette by Charlotte Brontë, the most productive and arguably the best known of the sisters. We will then go on to look at a selection of poems by Emily Brontë, followed by Wuthering Heights, her only novel, considering a variety of film versions of the text to support our analysis. Anne Brontë is probably the least known of the sisters, often referred to dismissively as "the other one". She is, however, the author of two powerful yet neglected texts: Agnes Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, and through a re-evaluation of those texts we will attempt to give her more of the recognition she undoubtedly deserves. Our analysis of the texts will be supported by a selection of contemporary documents.

Required reading

Week 1: Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre, 1847

Week 2: Charlotte Brontë, Villette, 1853

Week 3: Emily Brontë, Selected poems (to be provided as a handout)

Week 4: Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights, 1847

Week 5: Anne Brontë, Agnes Grey, 1847

Week 6: Anne Brontë, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, 1848

Additional information 

This course allows you to spend time exploring a subject for interest, among like-minded people, without formal assessment.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of the course students will be able to:

engage with the works of the Brontë sisters in the context of their lives and experiences.

examine the selected texts in the light of their socio-historical context.

interpret literary texts in a critical way, illustrating arguments with carefully chosen examples.

demonstrate knowledge through the construction of critical arguments and present and defend those arguments.

About the tutor

Sarah Anthony studied for her Masters degree with the Open University specialising in postcolonial nineteenth century literature. For the last 12 years she has taught undergraduate students and adult learners in courses ranging from Shakespeare to the postmodern. She currently teaches for the University of Kent and the WEA.


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Last Updated: 10/01/2012