The 'plain' Victorian woman

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A Thursday Talk at the Brontë Parsonage Museum

A Thursday Talk at the Brontë Parsonage Museum

Join us for a discussion about how Charlotte Brontë perceived her physical appearance, and how this corresponded with wider cultural discourses of beauty in early Victorian Britain

Something almost repulsive
Most accounts of Charlotte explicitly describe her as 'plain', with Charlotte herself being much more negative about her appearance. We know her to have been incredibly self-conscious about the way she looked, believing herself to be ‘ugly’ and ‘obscure’.

The self-constructed label of ugliness seeped into every aspect of her person-hood, significantly by way of internal narratives of rejection. Charlotte used harsh language when referring to her physical appearance, calling herself ‘the most stupid little wretch that ever existed’ and ‘the weakest - puniest - least promising of [my father’s] six children’, to offer but two examples.

This talk will be delivered by special guest Eve Ellis (MA History, University of Edinburgh), who will draw on her dissertation research to explore this theme in Charlotte’s writing.
Date: Thursday 13 July, 2pm
Venue: Brontë Event Space at the Old School Room

Free with entry to the Museum and for residents in BD20, BD21 and BD22. No need to book.

This is an in-person event at the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth. Can't make it in person? No problem! We will be running an online version of this Thursday Talk the very same day. Find out more.
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