Learning to imagine: the Brontës and nineteenth-century ideals of education

WEDNESDAY 31 OCTOBER, 18.00–19.30

Dinah Birch (Liverpool)

This lecture will focus on the writings of the Brontë family in the context of the educational controversies of the nineteenth century. The Brontës’ shared commitment to education, in both professional and personal terms, is exceptional in some ways, but it is also very revealing in terms of the wider educational debates of the period.  It is a commitment that shapes both the fiction and the poetry of the Brontë siblings, as it did the work of their father, Patrick Brontë. Thinking about the approaches to education to be seen in the Brontë family, often divergent but always fervently engaged, is a reminder that contemporary dilemmas and debates about education have deep roots in a shared history.