From Dr Elise Ouvrard:
The Brontës and the Idea of Influence
In March 2007, Stevie Davies, Patricia Duncker and Michele Roberts gathered around Patsy Stoneman at Haworth in Yorkshire to talk about the influence that the Brontës had had on their evolutions as authors, and more generally, about the source of inspiration that the most famous family of writers in England could represent. Patsy Stoneman had already tackled the topic by publishing a book entitled The Brontë Influence in 2004 with the help of Charmian Knight.
The issue of LISA e-journal « Re-Writing Jane Eyre: Jane Eyre, Past and Present » is further evidence of Charlotte Brontë’s influence on the writers of the following decades or centuries. So far, these studies have been quite limited and this field of research, “the Brontë influence”, offers a wide range of possible developments.
Moreover, if the four authors’ poetry and novels have already been the object of numerous studies, there is much left to write about the influences which were exerted on the Brontës, whether religious, literary, philosophical or cultural. Taking account of the context of a work is often a good way of understanding the issues underlying a text: the path taken by the Brontës, their journeys, their stays abroad, the books they read, etc. could prove to be very enlightening. Besides these external factors, one could also consider the interactions between the three sisters, who wrote in the same room and who read passages from their works aloud.
A final aspect to identify and study could be the influences which are exerted within the Brontës’ works themselves. How can one account for the progress of the heroes and heroines? How is the influence that characters have on one another expressed? What role does nature play in the destiny of characters? Which other elements intervene in the novels?
This dossier devoted to the Brontës intends to analyse the works through the perspective of influence and three different fields of research can thus be considered:
- influences on the Brontës
- the idea of influence in the Brontës’ works
- the Brontë influence on the writers of the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.
Please send your proposals (one A4 page maximum) to:
Dr. Élise Ouvrard (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Accepted articles will be published in the thematic dossier “The Brontës and the Idea of Influence” in the “Writers, writings” section of LISA e-journal: