Portraits of publicity-shy Brontë sister examined

Posted by pt91 at Nov 13, 2014 01:23 PM |
Prestigious lecture by University of Leicester academic on 17 November discusses Jane Eyre author

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 13 November 2014

The Brontë sisters have long been seen as writers who avoided the limelight, but a University of Leicester academic is to discuss whether Charlotte Brontë’s keen interest in her portraits reveals that she shaped her public image more than history would have us believe.

This year’s prestigious annual lecture for the Leicester Literary and Philosophical Society is to be given by Dr Julian North of the University of Leicester School of English.

In her lecture 'Charlotte Brontë and the Author Portrait', Dr North compares the contradictory perception of the Jane Eyre author as retiring from public life with her close interest in her portraits.

The lecture takes place on Monday 17 November at the Art Gallery and Museum, New Walk, 7.30 pm. All visitors are welcome, admission £3.

Dr North said: “Charlotte Brontë has always been seen as a writer who was shy of publicity and wanted to "walk invisible".

“But the evidence suggests that she thought carefully about how her reputation might be shaped through portraits – and that she was less modest in her self-image than has previously been recognised.

“This lecture will consider Brontë’s own, fantasy author portraits, drawn in the 1830s when she was a teenager; her feelings about the now-famous portrait by George Richmond (1850); and new evidence that she was invited to sit for a daguerreotype portrait, and refused. The lecture will end by showing how her image was used and transformed by the Victorians after her death.”

Ends

Notes to editors:

For more information contact Dr Julian North on Jrn8@le.ac.uk

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