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Castlereagh Boutique Hotel (near Town Hall Station)
June 4, 10:30am
Was Charlotte a ‘Closet Catholic’?
Dr Christopher Cooper
Charlotte Brontë grew up in a staunchly Protestant household. She made veiled, and
often explicit, criticism of Catholicism in her letters and her novels. Yet, reading
between the lines, one can detect the fact she was secretly fascinated by the forms and
rituals of the Catholic Church. Intellectually she was repelled by Catholicism, but
emotionally she seemed to be drawn to it. Her ambivalence began during the time she
spent in the very Catholic environment of the school she attended in Brussels and her
love-hate relationship with her very Catholic teacher, Monsieur Heger.