Tuesday 17 July 2012, 11-12pm and 2-3pm
When Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights were being written, the Brontë sisters chose not to mention the seething industrial life on their doorstep in Haworth. Examining this silence suggests that industrial squalor was nevertheless an influence on them. In her later novel, Shirley, Charlotte Brontë reflected her home environment with more realism - but the reasons for this shift of emphasis are linked to the reasons why the book was not so successful. Writers need not only to respond to their environment, but sometimes to escape it. In doing that, the Brontë sisters created their own myth of moorland isolation.
Whether in school teaching, voluntary work or adult education, Charmian’s priority has always been to share her enthusiasm for literature. She began by reading English at Oxford, and has been reading ever since. Recent work, centring on 19th-century fiction and its context, has included organising day schools and summer schools, co-authoring two books, and being on the editorial panel of the journal Brontë Studies.