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Annual General Meeting
Was Charlotte Fair in Depicting Cowan Bridge School as Lowood in Jane Eyre?
Dr Christopher Cooper
Castlereagh Boutique Hotel, Sydney, Australia
2 Feb 10:30am
When Jane Eyre was first published many people recognised the infamous Lowood School as the Cowan Bridge Clergy Daughters' School that Charlotte and her sisters attended. Then when Mrs Gaskell wrote her biography of Charlotte in 1857 the whole world knew of the connection. This sparked a debate in the Leeds Mercury, the Halifax Guardian and other publications. In the red corner, defending Mrs Gaskell, was Arthur Bell Nicholls. In the blue corner defending the Reverend Carus Wilson was his son, and also Sarah Baldwin, a former pupil. We will begin with watching the Lowood scenes from a film version of Jane Eyre. This will be followed by dramatised readings of the letters to the editor. You can then make up your own mind as to whether or not Charlotte's likening Lowood to Reverend Carus Wilson's school was fair.