As the surviving Brontë sister at the time of Emily and Anne’s early deaths, Charlotte controlled the public image and the legacy of her family. Known to be strong, clever, and ambitious, she was considered the true leader of the Brontë children, despite her diminutive bespectacled stature. How did the eldest of the three sisters set forth and present her literary family to the rest of the world?

In this event chaired by Jodie Matthews, award-winning historian and author Juliet Barker joins Ann Dinsdale, Principal Curator at the Bronte Parsonage Museum, to explore how Charlotte curated her family’s legacy, consequently influencing the impressions of figures like her father, Patrick Brontë, and biographer, Elizabeth Gaskell.

About The Authors

Juliet Barker

Juliet Barker is an internationally recognised authority on the Brontës. A former curator and librarian of the Brontë Parsonage Museum at Haworth, she is author of the seminal biography The Brontës. Her ability to combine groundbreaking scholarly research with a highly readable style has made her one of Britain’s most popular historians.

Headshot of Ann Dinsdale

Ann Dinsdale

Ann Dinsdale is Principal Curator at the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth, where she works on organising exhibitions and caring for the collections. She is a contributor to The Brontës in Context and A Companion to the Brontës, and author of At Home with the Brontes: The History of Haworth Parsonage and its Occupants.

About The Chair

Jodie Matthews

Jodie is an academic and critic specialising in 19th-century literature and culture and the ways in which we interpret texts from that period. She is a proud feminist and left-winger, and firmly believes in research and writing that is politically aware and engaged.