LIT3065 : The Brontes

Convener(s): Dr Amber Regis


General Information

'Literature cannot be the business of a woman's life, nor ought it to be.' So advised Robert Southey, Poet Laureate, to a young Charlotte Bronte in 1837. Just ten years later she and her sisters, Emily and Anne, caused a sensation: their first novels, published under pseudonyms just weeks apart, were read and reviewed with astonishment, praise and censure. Now some 200 years since their births, the Bronte siblings (including their brother, Branwell) sustain a thriving literary tourism industry and their works can be read and enjoyed via a multitude of editions and adaptations. This module will explore the art of the Brontes, their writings, drawings and paintings (including Bronte portraiture), from their collaborative juvenilia to Charlotte's final novel, Villette. These works shed light upon the socio-cultural trends and political upheavals of the 1840s and 1850s, from the plight of the governess to machine breaking in the industrial North. This module will also ask how and why the Brontes have enjoyed such a varied and long-lasting cultural afterlife.


This module is delivered via two weekly sessions: 1] a seminar exploring the Brontes' artworks and writings in the context of their own time, and 2] a workshop exploring the Brontes' cultural afterlives, from the nineteenth through to the twenty-first century (e.g. biopic; film, TV and radio adaptation; literary tourism; neo-Victorian fiction; etc.).


20%: Research proposal and annotated bibliography (1000 words); 80%: Research essay (3000 words).

Contact Details

0114 222 8469

Information last changed: Tuesday 21st of March 2017 :: 09:36:27 AM (GMT)

Please note: This module may or may not run in any individual session. Please check with the course convener.


The University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK