Sunday, 19 July 2015

A meeting with Sister Julia Bolton Holloway

Maddalena De Leo writes:
Fourteen years on from a memorable meeting of the Italian Section of the Brontë Society, on 10 July in Florence,  I and Professor Elisa Fierro from Lawrence, USA, met up again with Sister Julia Bolton Holloway, a well-known medieval historian and a scholar of the English poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning  (

Old Suor Julia is still the custodian of the Protestant cemetery in  Piazzale Donatello, Florence, where the imposing tomb-sarcophagus of the famous English poetess  is located. She lived and worked for most of her adult life in Casa Guidi and dearly loved Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre.

Sarcophagus of Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Sister Julia also has a remote ancestral relationship with one of the first students of the Reverend Patrick Brontë and is the author of a fine comparative article concerning  the two works Aurora Leigh and Jane Eyre which appeared in BS Transactions  1977.
She was very talkative and kind with me, by now the new BS representative of the Italian Section, since she remembered me well despite the lapse of time and also showed with pride all the new books in mediatheca ‘Fioretta Mazzei’, enthusiastically talking of ‘Brontë 200’ preparations.

It was really a very interesting new meeting!

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