‘The Brilliant and Bizarre Bronte Sisters’

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Article Published: Mar. 13, 2013 | Modified: Mar. 16, 2013
‘The Brilliant and Bizarre Bronte Sisters’

Elliot Engel

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How would one describe literature’s Bronte sisters?

For Prof. Elliot Engel, two words come to mind: “brilliant” and “bizarre.”

Noted scholar Engel returns to the Ashe Arts Center on Friday evening, March 15, at 7:30 p.m. for an evening of humor, literature and enlightening entertainment. Engel’s performance will be “The Brilliant and Bizarre Bronte Sisters.”

The daughters of an Irish clergyman, the Bronte sisters comprised one the of world’s most famous literary families. The Bronte family was very private, and many stories and myths surrounding them only served to make their literary efforts more famous. Engel puts his twist on the long, somewhat strange lives of the three sisters.

Engel has published seven books in both England and the United States. Many of his articles have appeared in national magazines, including Newsweek. Engel has written three plays, which have been produced during the last five-years. PBS television stations around the country aired his mini-lecture series on his favorite author and literary hero, Charles Dickens.

Originally from Indianapolis, Ind., Dr. Engel now resides in Raleigh, where he has taught courses at N.C. State University, University of North Carolina and Duke University. With 260 lectures a year covering more than 50 literary topics, Engel speaks to a wide variety of audiences ranging from 1,200 people at town hall meetings to small classrooms of 10 eager students.

Engel’s presentations have been described as fast-paced, fascinating and full of information. His previous programs on Dickens, Mark Twain, William Shakespeare and “The History and Mystery of Wine” were standing-room-only crowds.

As such, the Ashe Arts Council suggests that interested parties reserve their tickets as soon as possible. Tickets cost $12 for adults and $5 for students and are available in advance at the Ashe Arts Center or by calling (336) 846-ARTS. The Ashe Arts Center is located at 303 School Ave. in West Jefferson.

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