Shirley by Charlotte BrontëFollowing the tremendous popular success of Jane Eyre, which earned her lifelong notoriety as a moral revolutionary, Charlotte Brontë vowed to write a sweeping social chronicle that focused on something real and unromantic as Monday morning. Set in the industrializing England of the Napoleonic wars and Luddite revolts of 1811-12, Shirley (1849) is the story of two contrasting heroines. One is the shy Caroline Helstone, who is trapped in the oppressive atmosphere of a Yorkshire rectory and whose bare life symbolizes the plight of single women in the nineteenth century. The other is the vivacious Shirley Keeldar, who inherits a local estate and whose wealth liberates her from convention.
A work that combines social commentary with the more private preoccupations of Jane Eyre, Shirley demonstrates the full range of Brontës literary talent. Shirley is a revolutionary novel, wrote Brontë biographer Lyndall Gordon. Shirley follows Jane Eyre as a new exemplar but so much a forerunner of the feminist of the later twentieth century that it is hard to believe in her actual existence in 1811-12. She is a theoretic possibility: what a woman might be if she combined independence and means of her own with intellect. Charlotte Brontë imagined a new form of power, equal to that of men, in a confident young woman [whose] extraordinary freedom has accustomed her to think for herself....Shirley [is] Brontës most feminist novel.
Jane Eyre - Chapter 1 Summary & Analysis - Charlotte Brontë
Shirley – Charlotte Bronte
Shirley Book Summary and Study Guide. Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Shirley Shirley is the strong-willed and headstrong young woman who moves to a small village where she has inherited a vast amount of land, a house, and joint-ownership in a mill. She quickly befriends orphaned Caroline, a quite girl who is pretty much Shirley's opposite and is madly in love with Robert Moore who is co-owner of Shirley's mill. Click here to see the rest of this review While Caroline tries to suppress her feeling for Robert, who she is convinced will never love her back, and wonders about the parents she never met; nearly every unmarried man for miles around is trying to gain the rich Shirley's hand The review of this Book prepared by Annie.
Published in under the pseudonym Currer Bell, the author had already become famous with the success of Jane Eyre While Charlotte was at work on this book, her remaining siblings died. The first to go was her troubled brother Branwell, followed by sisters Emily and Anne , who would also come to be celebrated for their literary accomplishments. The lengthy novel has two female protagonists — the eponymous Shirley Keeldar, as well as Caroline Helstone. While it was hardly as popular as Jane Eyre , it was a success from the date of its appearance and has long remained a favorite. But, from an artistic and literary point of view, Shirley is much the better story. And foreigners at that time, whether of the whole or semi-variety, were not popular in England.
The novel is set in Yorkshire in —12, during the industrial depression resulting from the Napoleonic Wars and the War of
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Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Shirley
I found this very interesting, Maria - I like the way you think around the subject and your choice of illustrations too. It's a while since I read 'Shirley', so I can't say much to the purpose about your suggestion of Bronte being less brave than Gaskell in 'Mary Barton' in depiction of industrial problems, but it's something I'll be thinking about. They are two of my favourite writers and I always come back to them. On another tack, I've read somewhere that the character of Shirley is based on Emily Bronte, and the incident where she is bitten by the dog really happened. Enjoying your blog.
Preview of Shirley Summary:. Some readers have found it remarkable that they could read all the novels of Jane Austen and find no clue to the fact that the author had lived through three of the most momentous events in English history: the Industrial Revolution, the French Revolution, and the Napoleonic Wars. Austen deals only with private life. While Charlotte Bronte was not alive during the era of the Luddite Riots of , her father was; and, he had fought on the side of the factory owners. Charlotte's knowledge of the period was something less than encyclopedic. But, she reveals a fine sense of the confusion, hard feelings, and disruption of the time. One of her central themes in Shirley is the need to place one's private needs and desires in proper perspective with the "outside" events and conditions.
These notes were contributed by members of the GradeSaver community. Shirley is a novel published in by the English novelist Charlotte Bronte. Her second novel after publishing Jane Eyre , the story popularized a previously only male name into a female one; since the name "Shirley" reflected the title of a book by a female author and about female characters, it took effect on society. The book takes place in Yorkshire, England, and focuses on uprising that occurred during the time, especially those relating to the textile industry. While writing the novel, all three of her siblings died from natural causes within one year.