English 177-1 - Fall, 2019

Study of an Individual Author

    Topic: The Brontes

Class Information

Instructor: Roy, Parama
CRN: 42097
Time: TR 3:10-4:30
Location: 101 Wellman


    The Brontës

    In 1847, a trio of novels, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and Agnes Grey, came to be published under the pseudonyms of Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell. These were written by Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë, the inhabitants of a quiet parsonage in the Yorkshire moors and perhaps the most famous set of sibling authors in British literature. We will read four of their seven published novels–Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre and Villette (1853), Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, and Anne Brontë’s Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1848). We will examine the ways in which the novels, singly and collectively, left their mark upon nineteenth-century literary history through the originality of their subject matter and their remarkable narrative experiments. We will also read some of the Brontës’ juvenilia and poetry. Our discussion of these texts and writers will pay special attention to the following concerns: the status of the woman writer in England in mid-century; formal experiments in narrative and point of view; monsters, madwomen, foundlings, orphans, and aliens; domestic violence and alcoholism; education and the bildungsroman; region, nation, and empire; and money, inheritance, gentility, and employment.


    Participation and attendance (10%); 5 unannounced quizzes (10%); one 4-5 page paper (20%); one 6-7 page paper (35%); and one take-home final (25%).


    Jane Eyre, ed. Deborah Lutz (Norton Critical Edition), Charlotte Bronte
    Wuthering Heights, ed. Alexandra Lewis (Norton Critical Edition, 5th edition), Emily Bronte
    The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, ed. Josephine McDonagh (Oxford), Anne Bronte
    Villette, ed. Helen Cooper (Penguin), Charlotte Bronte