Course: The Brontë Sisters (Registration Closed)

The Brontë Sisters

Date / Time

  • September 30, 2018
    2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  • October 28, 2018
    2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  • November 25, 2018
    2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  • December 30, 2018
    2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  • January 27, 2019
    2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  • February 24, 2019
    2:00 pm - 4:00 pm


2008-2010 Delancey Place, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19103, United States


This course is devoted to the literary achievements of the Brontë sisters, whose first novels arrived on the scene in 1847 with the collective publication of Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and Agnes Grey. Representing themselves as a trio of brothers — Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell — the Brontës polarized their critics, with many insisting that works as complex as theirs could only be produced by men, while others noted their daring and sometimes radical representation of gender and sexuality.

Over our six months together, we will read and discuss four Brontë novels, delving into the deep waters and unexpected crosscurrents of this collective oeuvre. Focusing on novels that the sisters wrote in conversation with each other, we will have the opportunity to examine and debate the various stances that they took on issues of gender, class, love, and the quest for personal fulfillment. Together we will explore the shifting tapestry of genres and forms on which the Brontës drew, interrogating what we mean when we term something “Brontëan.” Along the way, we will learn about the social issues of nineteenth-century Britain and probe what makes these novels still so engaging and relevant to readers almost two hundred years later.


Download the Brontë Sisters course syllabus here

About the Instructor

Christine Woody is a Lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focusses on periodical literature and the transformational effects of media forms on literary production. She has published widely on role of magazines and book reviews in shaping literary performance, as well as on the dynamics and impact of serialization. She regularly teaching courses on Romantic and Victorian literature, Book History, and Adaptation Studies.

About Rosenbach Courses

Revisit beloved classics or experience new ones with Rosenbach courses. Book lovers delve into fiction, history, and poetry with the guidance of a literary expert and the company of other readers.