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University Centre Shrewsbury professor celebrates work of Charlotte Brontë

The work of Charlotte Brontë has been celebrated by a lecturer at University Centre Shrewsbury (UCS).

Charlotte Brontë, Legacies and afterlives, a new book, has been co-edited by Deborah Wynne, Professor of English at UCS.

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.

Prof Wynne, who also lectures at the University of Chester, 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.”

The front cover is a University of Chester production, having been designed by Dr Simon Grennan, Research Fellow in the Department of Art and Design.

Dr Grennan said: “It’s unusual to be able to draw a complete new cover illustration for an academic book and Charlotte Brontë, Legacies and afterlives has proved a fantastic opportunity. For almost 200 years, Brontë’s writing has generated whole genres of visual imagery, which continue to fascinate readers and provide some of the foundational images in the culture.”

Engagingly written and illustrated, the book is designed to appeal to both scholars and general readers. It has been co-edited by Dr Amber Regis, a Lecturer in English at the University of Sheffield.

Charlotte Brontë, Legacies and afterlives, edited by Amber K. Regis and Deborah Wynne, is published by the Manchester University PressFor more information go to: www.manchesteruniversitypress.co.uk/9781784992460

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