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University of Chester lecturer celebrates the work of Charlotte Brontë in new book

Prof Deborah Wynne takes a fresh look at the work of influential 19th century writer

Dr Simon Grennan and Professor Deborah Wynne both from the University of Chester(Image: UGC)

The work of Charlotte Brontë has been celebrated by two lecturers at the University of Chester.

The new book Charlotte Brontë, Legacies and Afterlives has been co-edited by Deborah Wynne, professor of 19th century literature in the English department at the university.

The front cover is also a University of Chester production, having been designed by Dr Simon Grennan, research fellow in the department of art and design.

This volume of essays has been compiled as a response to Charlotte Brontë’s bicentenary and offers a timely reflection on the persistent fascination of Brontë’s life and work.

The essays cover the period from her first publication in 1847 to the 21st century and explain why her work has endured in so many different forms and contexts.

Charlotte Brontë, Legacies and Afterlives analyses the intriguing afterlives of characters such as Jane Eyre and Rochester in neo-Victorian fiction, cinema, television, radio, the stage and, more recently, on the web.

From obituaries to vlogs, from stage to screen, from novels to erotic makeovers, it takes a fresh look at 150 years of engagement with one of the best-loved novelists of the Victorian period.

A further University of Chester connection is that one of the chapters has been written by Dr Louisa Yates, director of research and collections at Gladstone’s Library, Hawarden and a visiting lecturer in English at the University of Chester.

Dr Yates is also an alumna of the university, having studied for her PhD at the institution.

Professor Wynne said: “The impulse motivating the current volume of essays stems from the question of why Charlotte Brontë’s work continues to be so widely read. We are also asking why her characters have endured in so many different forms and cultural contexts.

“Visitors come from all around the world to visit the Brontë Parsonage Museum and it is clear that Charlotte Brontë is a cultural phenomenon which continues to evolve, as do her literary legacies.

“The book’s contributors come from many universities and we bring the story of Charlotte’s afterlife and legacy up to 2017.

“The chapters cover topics such as literary tourism and Haworth Parsonage (the former Brontë family home, which is now a museum); her connections with Brussels; her influence on feminist writers; film adaptations of Jane Eyre; fan fiction; theatre and radio adaptations; and 20th and 21st century books which are inspired by, and reimagine, her work.”

Charlotte Brontë, Legacies and Afterlives, edited by Amber K. Regis and Deborah Wynne, is published by the Manchester University Press.

For more information, and to order a copy, go to: www.manchesteruniversitypress.co.uk/9781784992460/

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