"Judith Adams and Gaynor Macfarlane: two of the safest pairs of hands in radio" Radio Times Choice
On a warm September evening in 1843, Charlotte Brontë, as "poor, obscure, plain and little" as Jane Eyre was later to describe herself, staunch and nationalistic Protestant daughter of an equally uncompromising Irish clergyman, steps into the cool interior of Brussel's Cathedral of Ste Gudule and, on impulse, goes to the Confessional and tells her story. Later she is to write to her sister Emily
"I felt precisely as I did when alone on the Thames at midnight..." (CB to EJB, 2 Sep 1843)
The story of what has driven her to unburden to a Catholic, "infidel" is the fictional journey of this play, set firmly in biographical research. Her crisis is not just that of a frustrated love for her Belgian professeur, who has unlocked her astonishing abilities, but a once-and-for all choice between two drastic escape-routes from her impossible passion: dutiful self-abnegation or rebellious authorship.
"do not ... accuse me of conceit; I do not know that feeble feeling, the child of vanity; but I know another feeling well, respect for myself, a feeling born of independence and integrity. Monsieur - I believe I have genius." (Letter from a Poor Painter to a Great Lord, Oct 1843)
"Il faut donner à son âme toutes les formes possibles." Constantin Heger.