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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 Brontes 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, Bronte challenges convention, exploring the limitations of social justice whilst telling not one but two love stories.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 528 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 25mm | 327g
  • Herts, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 1853260649
  • 9781853260643
  • 29,343

Back cover copy

Following the tremendous popular success of Jane Eyre, which earned her lifelong notoriety as a moral revolutionary, Charlotte Bronte 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 Bronte's literary talent.
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About Charlotte Bronte

Charlotte Brontë (1816 - 1855) ist die älteste der drei außergewöhnlichen Schriftsteller-Schwestern. Sie wurde am 21. April 1816 als dritte Tochter eines irischen Methodistenpfarrers im britischen District Yorkshire geboren. Sie hatte vier Schwestern und einen Bruder. Als Charlotte fünf Jahre alt war, starb ihre Mutter. Auch ihre beiden älteren Schwestern starben. Charlotte unterrichtete ihre jüngeren Schwestern Emily und Anne zu Hause und arbeitete zeitweise in zwei anderen Haushalten als Gouvernante. 1847 veröffentlicht Charlotte ihren Roman "Jane Eyre", in dem sie vom Schicksal einer Gouvernante erzählt. Die Bekanntgabe der Identität der "Brüder Bell" beim Londoner Verleger sorgte für einen Skandal. Charlotte schrieb "Shirley", reiste nach London und fand Kontakt zu literarischen Kreisen um William M. Thackeray. 1854 heiratete sie den Hilfspfarrer A.B. Nicholls, für den sie Bewunderung, aber keine Liebe empfand. Im selben Jahr erwartete sie ein Kind und bekam eine schwere Lungenentzündung, von der sie sich nicht mehr erholte: sie hatte ihre jüngeren Schwestern überlebt, starb jedoch in Haworth, drei Wochen vor ihrem 39. Geburtstag.
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Rating details

32,426 ratings
3.75 out of 5 stars
5 27% (8,854)
4 34% (10,923)
3 29% (9,291)
2 8% (2,487)
1 3% (871)
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