Shirley

Front Cover
Penguin, Jan 1, 1974 - Literary Criticism - 622 pages
Its focus is less on individual men and women, although their stories add compulsive drama and tension, than on the individual perceived in close relation with the forces moulding society. Charlotte Brontė chose to set it during the Napoleonic Wars - a period of bad harvests, Luddite riots, economic unrest and the oppression of women - in order to grapple with social and political issues. In her story of two contrasting heroines and the men they love can be traced her wish to reconcile the world of romantic love and fulfilment with the gritty realities of suffering, obligation and social duty.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - LudieGrace - LibraryThing

The first chapter of Shirley ("Levitical") hooked me. Nineteenth-century Church of England politics? Yes, please! But the rest of the novel doesn't quite deliver, on that or any other score. Brontė's ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - john257hopper - LibraryThing

This was the second novel by Charlotte Bronte, but I didn't find this anywhere near as interesting as Jane Eyre (or indeed the other three Bronte novels by Emily and Anne). While set in an interesting ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

INTRODUCTION
7
A NOTE ON THE TEXT
31
SELECTED FURTHER READING
33
SHIRLEY
35
NOTES
585
Copyright

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About the author (1974)

Charlotte Bronte was born at Thornton, Yorkshire, in 1816. Her mother died in 1821, and Charlotte, her four sisters, Maria, Elizabeth, Emily and Anne, and her brother Branwell were left in the care of their aunt, Elizabeth Branwell. Left to pursue their education mainly at home, all the Bronte children became involved in a rich fantasy life and Charlotte and Branwell collaborated in the invention of the imaginary kingdom of Angria. In 1824 Charlotte went with Maria, Elizabeth and Emily to a school for daughters of the clergy; her experiences there are fictionalized in the Lowood section of Jane Eyre(1847; written under the pseudonym of Currer Bell). She wrote three other novels, Shirey(1849) Vilette (1853) and She Professor(published posthumously in 1857). She also made occasional visits to London where she became known to various writers, including William Thackeray and Elizabeth Gaskell. In 1854 Charlotte finally overcame her father's objections and married, but unfortunately she was to die in the following year.