With the intention of learning more for themselves in order to be able to establish a school, Charlotte and Emily Brontë in 1842 went to the Pensionnat Heger in Brussels. This is an important period in the history of the Brontës. In Constantin Heger they met a tremendously good teacher of literature, Charlotte even fell in love with him. Of Charlotte's four novels two, Villette and The Professor, are situated in Brussels and the Pensionnat especially.
To impress a girlfriend who is especially fond of Villette Eric started to send her copies of articles about Brussels and the Brontës, found in the Leiden University Library. Soon it became clear that much had been written about Charlotte Brontë and Constantin Heger, but that there was no decent history of the Brussels of the Brontës.
Eric started by writing one for her. With thanks to the Brontë Society, who in 1993 awarded him their Centenary Scholarship he was then able to do extensive research in Brussels and in England. The book was published in 2001.
Eric also is co-author of the book 40 jaar Vegro: Een historisch overzicht van groothandel Vegro B.V. 1959-1999, a publication of research bureau Verhoog & Warmerdam. Text submissions by Eric Ruijssenaars and Sanne Stapel, manuscript by Florine Koning.