Charlotte Brontë Revisited: A View from the Twenty-First Century (Saraband, 2016; reissued 2018)
Everybody knows Charlotte Brontë. World-famous for her novel Jane Eyre, she’s a giant of literature and has been written about in reverential tones in scores of textbooks over the years. But what do we really know about Charlotte?
Charlotte Brontë Revisited looks at Charlotte through 21st-century eyes. Discover her private world of convention, rebellion and imagination, and how they shaped her life, writing and obsessions – including the paranormal, nature, feminism, and politics. It’s a celebration of all things Charlotte Brontë, and emphatically shows why she’s as relevant today as she ever was.
‘Deftly mixes contemporary humour with reflectivity […] superbly written, exuberant.’ – Brontë Studies
Alongside Dr Claire O’Callaghan, I co-edited a special issue of Brontë Studies on coarseness; my article on political violence, Luddism, and Yorkshire dialect was published Open Access:
‘”Ay, ay, divil, all’s raight! We’ve smashed ’em!”: Translating Violence and ‘Yorkshire Roughness’ in Charlotte Brontë’s Shirley‘, Brontë Studies, 44.1: ‘The Coarseness of the Brontës: A Reappraisal’, eds. Claire O’Callaghan and Sophie Franklin (2019), 43–55:
You can read my review of The Brontës and the Idea of the Human: Science, Ethics, and the Victorian Imagination (edited by Alexandra Lewis), in The Review of English Studies (December 2019), here.
‘‘After the manner of Jael and Sisera’: Transforming Violence and Mental Pain in Charlotte Brontë’s Villette‘, Brontë Studies, 46.2: ‘The Brontës – Sickness, Contagion, Isolation’, ed. Jo Waugh (2021), 146–58.
This article explores the transformation of violence in religiously inflected representations of mental pain in Charlotte Brontë’s Villette (1853). Through the appropriation of the Old Testament narrative of Jael and Sisera (Judges 4), Brontë presents vivid, embodied re-enactments of Lucy Snowe’s psychological suffering and self-harm. These representations of self-inflicted pain provide a complex picture of literary violence as transformational. In the process of examining such transformation, this article engages with critical debates and shifting perceptions surrounding issues of pain, materialism and faith in the mid-nineteenth century, while also intersecting with ongoing conversations around matters of mental health. Villette narrates mental pain, transforming seemingly invisible experiences of suffering into witnessable and enduring testimonies of survival.
You can read my review of Emma Butcher’s The Brontës and War: Fantasy and Conflict in Charlotte and Branwell Brontë’s Youthful Writings (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020) in Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies here.