Ref: C2228376

The literary Bronte family have often been portrayed as consisting of a repressive father, a drunken, dissolute son and three daughters who produced novels labelled 'scandalous' by some critics and members of the reading public. Their family home, Haworth Parsonage in Yorkshire, is one of Britain's most visited literary shrines and the novels written by Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte have never been out of print since they were first published in 1847. The family's story has elements of tragedy, but includes inspiring accounts of triumph over adversity and disadvantage. We also look at some more recent research findings about the family, and consider male members of the family who have often been portrayed in a negative light. Are these portrayals correct - or were they victims rather than villains? Course members definitely do not need to have read any of the Bronte novels, nor to have watched any TV adaptations of their work in order to participate in this course.

Course aim

The course looks at the multi-talented Bronte family of literary fame, including the often overlooked male family members. Discoveries will include the fact that their creative talents were not confined to novels, but included art, poetry and music.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for beginners
  • This course is for improvers
  • This course is for beginners and improvers
  • Course handouts will be produced for course members, to reinforce what is covered during the session each week and to act as a reference after the course finishes.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Recall aspects from the Bronte children's childhood and education.
  • Identify the creative talents of individual members of the Bronte family.
  • Summarise the influence that their Irish and Celtic heritage may have had on the Bronte siblings writings.
  • Have an understanding of why male members of the Bronte family have sometimes been marginalised by some biographers and scholars.

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

Course members do not need any prior knowledge of the Bronte novels in order to participate in this course, neither do they need to have listened to/watched any radio, TV or film adaptations of the Brontes' work. Members may wish to bring a pen & notebook, but handouts will be provided each week.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet



As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

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  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2021
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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