Karen Jennings, author, postdoctoral fellow at the Laboratory for the Economics of Africa’s Past, Stellenbosch University

Monday 16–Wednesday 18 January

3.00 pm


Since its publication in 1847, Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre has remained popular. Despite this, or perhaps because of this, it is often seen as little more than a moving Gothic romance. Yet the novel is so much more than a love story. In fact, Jane Eyre had a lasting impact on the way fiction is written. Brontë’s first-person narration allowed Jane to turn inward, so that, as readers, we are able to see her intimate thoughts and feelings as she struggles to make sense of not only the people and situations around her, but also her place amongst them. In this lecture series we are going to learn about Jane – her will, her independence and her uncompromising strength of character.

Lecture titles

1. Jane alone: from her time at Gateshead to her departure from Lowood

2. Jane at home: Jane at Thornfield

3. Jane in the wilderness: making a new life after leaving Thornfield

Recommended reading

Any edition of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë.

Participants might want to read Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë as well, but this is certainly not required.