Shirley

Front Cover
Wordsworth Editions, 1993 - Fiction - 482 pages
17 Reviews

With an Introduction and Notes by Sally Minogue

The Shirley of the title is a woman of independent means; her friend Caroline is not. Both struggle with what a woman's role is and can be. Their male counterparts - Louis, the powerless tutor, and Robert, his cloth-manufacturing brother - also stand at odds to society's expectations. The novel is set in a period of social and political ferment, featuring class disenfranchisement, the drama of Luddite machine-breaking, and the divisive effects of the Napoleonic Wars.

But Charlotte Brontės particular strength lies in exploring the hidden psychological drama of love, loss and the quest for identity. Personal and public agitation are brought together against the dramatic backdrop of her native Yorkshire. As always, Brontė challenges convention, exploring the limitations of social justice whilst telling not one but two love stories.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - thornton37814 - LibraryThing

Set during the Napoleonic wars, Shirley is partially a story of economics and industrialization. It's also partially a love story. Religion also plays a part in the novel. There is a reason it has ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - aine.fin - LibraryThing

I think this is the only Charlotte Bronte I hadn't read years ago. A book of its time. Quite frustrating at points with all the talking around relationships as opposed to actually straight up ... Read full review

Contents

Levitical
3
The Wagons
14
in Mr Yorke
27
Mr Yorke continued
34
Hollows Cottage
43
Coriolanus
56
The Curates at Tea
73
Noah and Moses
95
Tomorrow
262
Mrs Pry or
272
xxn TTOO LUCJ
287
XXIH An Evening Out
295
xxrv Tie Ftfey ofAe Shadow of Death
311
The West Wind Blows
327
Old Copybooks
334
The First Bluestocking
349

Briarmains
108
Old Maids
126
Fieldbead
141
Shirley and Caroline
155
Further Communications on Business
173
Shirley Seeks to be Saved by Works
194
Mr Donnes Exodus
205
Whitsuntide
217
The School Feast
226
WfoVvb fte Genteel Reader is Recommended to Skip Low Persons being here Introduced
239
A Summer Night
248
XXVIH Phoebe
368
Louis Moore
385
Rush edge a Confessional
392
Uncle and Niece
404
The Schoolboy and the Woodnymph
417
xxxm Martins Tactics
427
xxxrv Case of Domestic Persecution Remarkable Instance of Pious Perseverance in the Discharge of Religious Duties
436
Wherein Matters Make some Progress but not much
442
Written in the Schoolroom
453
The Windingup
471
Copyright

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References to this book

The Flesh Made Word
Helena Michie
Limited preview - 1990
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About the author (1993)

Charlotte Bronte, the third of six children, was born April 21, 1816, to the Reverend Patrick Bronte and Maria Branwell Bronte in Yorkshire, England. Along with her sisters, Emily and Anne, she produced some of the most impressive writings of the 19th century. The Brontes lived in a time when women used pseudonyms to conceal their female identity, hence Bronte's pseudonym, Currer Bell. Charlotte Bronte was only five when her mother died of cancer. In 1824, she and three of her sisters attended the Clergy Daughter's School in Cowan Bridge. The inspiration for the Lowood School in the classic Jane Eyre was formed by Bronte's experiences at the Clergy Daughter's School. Her two older sisters died of consumption because of the malnutrition and harsh treatment they suffered at the school. Charlotte and Emily Bronte returned home after the tragedy. The Bronte sisters fueled each other's creativity throughout their lives. As young children, they wrote long stories together about a complex imaginary kingdom they created from a set of wooden soldiers. In 1846, Charlotte Bronte, with her sisters Emily and Anne published a thin volume titled Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell. In the same year, Charlotte Bronte attempted to publish her novel, The Professor, but was rejected. One year later, she published Jane Eyre, which was instantly well received. Charlotte Bronte's life was touched by tragedy many times. Despite several proposals of marriage, she did not accept an offer until 1854 when she married the Reverend A. B. Nicholls. One year later, at the age of 39, she died of pneumonia while she was pregnant. Her previously rejected novel, The Professor, was published posthumously in 1857.

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