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The Bronte Sisters: Their Stories in Keepsakes

Evening Program with Book Signing

Friday, April 29, 2016 - 6:45 p.m.
Code: 1C0067

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Brooch made of hair and pearls, England (Victoria and Albert Museum)

In her unique and detailed biography of the literary Bronte sisters, Anne, Charlotte, and Emily, Victorian literature scholar Deborah Lutz reveals complicated and beguiling lives. She performs a literary show-and-tell, illuminating the artifacts and objects that held meaning for them growing up in Haworth, England, at the edge of the moors. Lutz makes a connection to the sisters through descriptions of such things as letters, a bracelet woven from Anne and Emily’s hair, portable writing desks, walking sticks, and even a brass collar worn by Emily’s dog.

Lutz re-creates moments of their daily lives set against major biographical turning points: the death of their mother and two sisters, the imaginary kingdoms of their childhood writing, their time as governesses, and their desire to make their way as writers. A picture of three very special women emerges at this intersection of material culture, the Victorian era, and biography.

Lutz is the Thruston B. Morton Professor of English at the University of Louisville.

Paperback copies of her book The Bronte Cabinet: Three Lives in Nine Objects (W.W. Norton) are available for purchase.


S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Dr SW
Metro: Smithsonian (Mall exit)