For almost two centuries, Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights have featured on lists of English literature’s most epic and affecting romances.

Join us as we explore the real-life inspiration for the fascinating figures of Heathcliff and Rochester, examining whether they really are romantic heroes or whether the relationships in the novels show something much darker.

Broadcaster Bidisha and poet Andrew Mitchell discuss these two flawed, complex characters through the lens of today’s feminist landscape and explore their enduring appeal for modern readers.

About The Host

Yvette Huddleston

Yvette Huddleston is an author and journalist specialising in the arts. She has written extensively on film, theatre, literature and visual art for a wide range of national and regional publications.

About The Speakers


Bidisha is a writer, broadcaster and film-maker/actor. Her most recent film is An Impossible Poison and her most recent book is Asylum and Exile: Hidden Voices of London. She writes for The Guardian and presents for BBC radio and TV.

Andrew Mitchell

Andrew Mitchell is a narrative poet who specialises in performances with music and dance. He continues to devise poems for his long sequence, A Paradise of Exiles, on the lives and work of the younger English Romantic Poets, including Byron, Keats and Shelley. Andrew is an Honorary Fellow of Leicester University.