Virtual Brontë Book Club

The Brontë family offered a literary phenomenon which has been unparalleled in Gothic fiction before or since. Exploring themes such as death and decay, haunted estates, family curses, madness, and powerful love or romance through a supernatural lens permits readers a brief respite but also a considerable insight into the acute reality of these concepts.

The BPL’s Virtual Book Club starts this exploration with Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. Various formats and editions of this timeless classic can be acquired through the library’s Freading app.

Meet up to discuss Mr. Rochester, Grace Poole, and Jane at 2pm on April 2nd through Zoom. The following week the Virtual Brontë Book Club will watch the National Theater‘s adaptation of the novel in play form as it streams live from their YouTube account at 2 p.m. Central Time on April 9th.

A discussion of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights will follow on Thursday, April 16th at 2 p.m. via Zoom. Participants can enjoy this book from several public domain resources including the Burlington Public Library’s Freading app.

The following week the club will synchronize our viewing of Andrea Arnold’s Wuthering Heights which is an excitingly fresh and distinct take on the classic. The film is available for free through the library’s Kanopy app. Participants are encouraged to share their reactions via Zoom or in a group Google chat asthe film plays on April 23rd at 2 p.m.

We will conclude our Brontë series with a reading of Anne Brontë’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall which can be located through Freading. Writing under the pseudonym Acton Bell, Anne Brontë last novel was published in 1848 and tells the story of a woman who flees a disastrously abusive marriage and tries to become a working artist during a time when women were expected to accept whatever their husbands did without complaint. Participants will gather to discuss it on April 30th via Zoom.

More information about the Brontë sisters can be found in the form of documentaries on Kanopy, biographies and sparks notes on Freading, as well as literary criticism articles located with Gale.

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