Celebrating Charlotte Brontë

Filed under: BiographyFiction

Claire Harman, Moira Buffini and Rachel Joyce discuss the Victorian novelist 200 years after her birth.

When a writer produces a novel as impressive as Jane Eyre, their fame is assured – like it or not. Even publishing under a pseudonym didn’t save Charlotte Brontë from the difficulties of celebrity and from being identified with her heroine. Claire Harman’s biography of Charlotte was published last autumn to rave reviews – it is, as one critic put it, “elegant, sensitive, beautifully paced and moving”. The playwright Moira Buffini wrote the screenplay for the 2011 film of Jane Eyre, starring Mia Wasikowksa and Michael Fassbender. Rachel Joyce, author of the bestselling novel The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, has been fascinated by the Brontës since childhood. Harman, Buffini and Joyce ask who was the real Charlotte Brontë? How did she negotiate the exposure that came with publication– especially after the deaths of Emily and Anne? And can a writer ever be free of her creations?

We are grateful to the National Portrait Gallery, our partner for this event.

Recorded on: April 21, 2016
Recorded at: National Portrait Gallery

Related RSL Fellows

Moira Buffini 2014
Claire Harman 2006