Online Course: Reading Childhood – Jane Eyre

  • DATE

    24 January 2024

  • TIME

    7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

  • AGES

    All ages welcome




    Elizabeth Gaskell's House
    84 Plymouth Grove, Manchester, M13 9LW

What do you think of when you imagine Victorian children? Demure little things who are seen and not heard? This is certainly not true of the child characters of the great Victorian novelists.

In Jane Eyre and David Copperfield, Charlotte Brontë and Charles Dickens show us how trauma can influence character development as well as spelling out the responsibilities adults have towards children. George Eliot and our own Elizabeth Gaskell give us rounded, observant and intelligent young girls in Maggie Tulliver (The Mill of the Floss) and Molly Gibson (Wives and Daughters). We will look at one of these characters each month and conclude our study by reading Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, where the readership is designed to be children themselves. Are there any differences?

Childhood is a very accessible subject (we were all children once) and it leads directly into some very big themes such as religion, social justice and human vulnerability. Come and join us!

This month’s session will focus on Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë.

The course is suitable for the general reader who wants to delve deeper into 19th century writing. You are welcome to read the full novel or key extracts will be sent a fortnight in advance so you can prepare yourself to take part in the discussion. Sessions will take place on zoom and numbers are limited to allow an inclusive discussion with the chance for all to take part.

Please note, due to popular demand this is a repeat of the Jane Eyre session (10 January sold out) and will take place on 24 January 2023.