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Online Event: Shirley – Charlotte Brontë and The Industrial Novel

Charlotte Brontë is a giant of Victorian literature and the much-loved author of the classic Jane Eyre, but what of her lesser-read second novel, Shirley, written in the grief and sadness of family loss?

Front cover of Shirley

Brontë’s Shirley was set amongst the tumultuous times of the Napoleonic Wars and Luddite machine breakers. Her strong female characters and industrial strife show the author had plenty to say about contemporary class and sexual politics, much like her friend Elizabeth Gaskell in her first novel, Mary Barton.

This special partnership event explores the historical reality behind Charlotte’s writing including her beloved Yorkshire moors, famous sisters and the status of women in Victorian life.

Enjoy an online evening with like-minded people and join us as we delve into the original novel. There’s even the opportunity to see a first edition of both Shirley and Mary Barton live from the Portico.

This event will include three speakers and ​Q&A session.

Speakers include:

  • Andrew Stodolny, Learning Officer at Brontë Parsonage Museum
  • Dr Emma Liggins, Reader in English Literature and Co-Director of the Long Nineteenth-Century Network at Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Dr Debbie Challis, Events Producer at The Portico

A partnership event with Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, the Brontë Parsonage Museum, The Portico and Manchester Metropolitan University Part of the Mary Barton season of events at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House

Wed 1 November, 7-8.30pm

Tickets £5

**Refer to your e-ticket for joining instructions and links. Please check your spam/junk for ticket. This talk will also be recorded and all ticketholders will receive a link to the recording via TicketSource after the event.**

You can also support the House by buying a copy of Mary Barton from our online shop via this link.

If you have any questions about this event, please see our Frequently Asked Questions.

Elizabeth Gaskell’s House is run by Manchester Historic Buildings Trust (charity no. 1080606) and all money gained through private tours, talks, room hire and ticket sales goes towards the ongoing maintenance and running costs of the House. If you would like to support the House with an additional donation you can do so via this link.

1st Nov 2023

7pm - 8.30pm

Talk, Talks

Plans are like a card-house-if one gives way, all the others come rattling about your head

Elizabeth Gaskell, 1864