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Shirley ➾ Shirley Free ➵ Author Charlotte Brontë – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk Following the tremendous popular success of Jane Eyre, which earned her lifelong notoriety as a moral revolutionary, Charlotte Bront vowed to write a sweeping social chronicle that focused on somethin Following the tremendous popular success of Jane Eyre, which earned her lifelong notoriety as a moral revolutionary, Charlotte Bront 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, Shirleyis 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 conventionA work that combines social commentary with the private preoccupations of Jane Eyre, Shirley demonstrates the full range of Bront s literary talentShirley is a revolutionary novel, wrote Bront biographer Lyndall GordonShirley 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 She is a theoretic possibility what a woman might be if she combined independence and means of her own with intellect Charlotte Bront 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 herselfShirley is Bront s most feminist novel.


10 thoughts on “Shirley

  1. Henry Avila Henry Avila says:

    In the fast changing industrializing England of 1811 12 from farming to factories, the beauty of the green land, clear waters and blue skies are being destroyed rapidly by dark ugly pollution people will have to adapt or starve, machines are taking over sounds familiar A bleak future for some, others to prosper but a hiccup occurs Napoleon s long ruinous maybe endless war of 15 years is devastating Yorkshire s trade, embargoes by both France and her arch enemy Britain in the north of th In the fast changing industrializing England of 1811 12 from farming to factories, the beauty of the green land, clear waters and blue skies are being destroyed rapidly by dark ugly pollution people will have to adapt or starve, machines are taking over sounds familiar A bleak future for some, others to prosper but a hiccup occurs Napoleon s long ruinous maybe endless war of 15 years is devastating Yorkshire s trade, embargoes by both France and her arch enemy Britain in the north of the nation like the rest of the realm, cause havocRobert Moore a good looking half English, his father and Belgian mother born in that country in fact, has fled the bloody conflict across the windy channel to apparent safety , scraping up a few coins left by their deceased respectable parents, building a wool mill there, he has an older plain good heart sister Hortense, living with him and a younger evenplainer but quite intelligent, poor brother Mr.Louis a tutor, to a faraway wealthy family Mr.Robert Moore 30, is very ambitious some say ruthless man, firing many employees and replacing them with a machine, trouble follows as in much of the nation, angry rioters called the Luddites former mill workers have been wrecking the new detested machines, threatening to kill the ownersin his small village the foreigner Robert, almost bankrupt is hated and a constant uneasy feeling of menacing violence, permeates the area The handsome Mr Moore has female admirers, delicate lovely Caroline Helstone, raised by a stern but not unkind parson an uncle Rev Matthewston Helstone, and a rich beauty an orphan rather proud Shirley Keeldar, she owns the property that the mill stands on, loans Mr Moore money to survive the economic difficulties His brother Louis, unexpectedly arrives in the village with the family he works for, relatives of Shirley s and an arrogant uncle of her s tries to marry the highly reluctant niece, to an appropriate financially secure gentleman, settle all his troubles the loose ends, the always responsible man has his duties to performbut things are complicated, Caroline loves Robert he loves Shirley or her money, and the penniless Louis loves Shirleya rectangle you can figure out yourself, how to resolved the confusing situation Not Charlotte Bronte s best book, obviously Jane Eyre is but still an interesting peek into the early Nineteenth Century s Industrial Revolution, the turmoil and deadly effects that happens in society to the ordinary people who could never really fight back in the place it all began, not so merry England


  2. Aubrey Aubrey says:

    but I perceive that certain sets of human beings are very apt to maintain that other sets should give up their lives to them and their service, and then they requite them by praise they call them devoted and virtuous Is this enough Is it to live Is there not a terrible hollowness, mockery, want, craving, in that existence which is given to others, for want of something of your own to bestow it on I suspect there is Does virtue lie in abnegation of the self I do not believe it. This but I perceive that certain sets of human beings are very apt to maintain that other sets should give up their lives to them and their service, and then they requite them by praise they call them devoted and virtuous Is this enough Is it to live Is there not a terrible hollowness, mockery, want, craving, in that existence which is given to others, for want of something of your own to bestow it on I suspect there is Does virtue lie in abnegation of the self I do not believe it. This book is long, complicated, and polemical It is full of numerous characters that are never proclaimed fully evil or utterly good, references that few modern readers would understand without the copious end notes, and bundles of plots weaving in and out of a myriad number of sociocultural subjects The authors views are as obvious in her text as the nose on your face religion, politics, women s rights, you name it, she has something to say about it Finally, what this all adds up to is not an adventure, nor a history, not even a treatise of various ideas on multifarious subject matters, but a romance, if that I loved it.If history is both well written and well integrated into an intriguing yet formative fictional piece, I ll eat it up like cake If characters and plots are sacrificed on the altar of theme and powerful insight, I m all the happier If my own personal views are presented in a form eloquent, intelligent, and explicit, better yet augmenting and honing my mind as my eye reads on, yes, I will cling to it in as biased a manner as I please And, if it tickles my particular brand of humor, I will especially treasure it.Will this book please everyone No, far from it The author is far too wrapped within her own thoughts and intentions within these pages, and not even my love blinds me to the emphatic disagreements I had with the book as a result As these disagreements are few and far between the wonderfully long passages of masterful insight, I don t mind them much What matters farto me are many places of brilliance, the brightest of them being the ingenious way with which the author treats gaslighting, that all too common and insidious mechanism that dominates relations between women and men as if the truth of defining action and reaction lay solely within the latter s power while the former is left to rot in silenceIt is not, she resumed, much excited, It is not that I hate you you are a good sort of man perhaps you mean well in your way but we cannot suit we are ever at variance You annoy me with small meddling, with petty tyranny you exasperate my temper, and make and keep me passionate As to your small maxims, your narrow rules, your little prejudices, aversions, dogmas, bundle them off Mr Sympson go, offer them a sacrifice to the deity you worship I ll none of them I wash my hands of the lot I walk by another creed, light, faith, and hope, than youI m not surprised Woolf decried Charlotte Bront within her A Room of One s Own for letting too much anger and indictment creep into her writing I myself wonder at Bront s fervent declamations, often uttered by female characters who later on act in complete opposition to their previously stated thoughts and feelings Seemingly, perhaps, as this sort of idealism rarely results in a happy ending, at least for most suspenders of disbelief Seemingly, as what matters is that Bront did indeed pen her insight on paper that later was successfully published She did exhaust most of her cutting wit and fine tuned psychological scalpel on the matter of women from infant to old maid, but there are men and children, poor and rich, politic and politic that may not be likable but always are trueI must read Shakespeare You must have his spirit before you you must hear his voice with your mind s ear you must take some of his soul into yours With a view to making me better is it to operate like a sermon It is to stir you to give you new sensations It is to make you feel your life strongly, not only your virtues, but your vicious, perverse pointsThis book achieves exactly that


  3. MJ Nicholls MJ Nicholls says:

    Shirley is Charlotte s sopho slump Her Kill Uncle Her You Shall Know Our Velocity Her Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie And so on I don t care how cute Mr Rochester is, this novel is a deeply vexing mess Firstly, there are several plotlines and not one has the urge to intersect The rebelling miners plot launches the novel in tandem with the idle curates poor versus rich plot, then dribbles away with the introduction of the second plot Caroline s crush on Mr Moore This plot is soon Shirley is Charlotte s sopho slump Her Kill Uncle Her You Shall Know Our Velocity Her Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie And so on I don t care how cute Mr Rochester is, this novel is a deeply vexing mess Firstly, there are several plotlines and not one has the urge to intersect The rebelling miners plot launches the novel in tandem with the idle curates poor versus rich plot, then dribbles away with the introduction of the second plot Caroline s crush on Mr Moore This plot is soon replaced by the late appearance of Shirley, the most interesting character in the novel, whose bland friendship with Caroline stems the flow of Shirley s androgynous awesomeness This too dribbles away with too many pastoral scenes, misplaced polemics, increasingly tedious extended dialogues and domestic trivialities The novel feels aimless and incompetent without recourse to the tropes of a form i.e gothic romance tropes like Charlotte used in Jane Eyre, so bumbles along at a grinding pace offering succour in all too infrequent scenes of tension or conflict between Shirley and others, which soon peter out into dreary ten page dialogues or ruminations studded with biblical references I managed up to 392pp, which is three quarters if any devotees of this book want to fill me in on the last quarter please do Disappointing Next one up Vilette


  4. Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) says:

    Charlotte Bronte s Shirley is one of the most beautiful, enriching, and satisfying novels that I ve read this year A novel borne from tragedy, Charlotte published Shirley in 1849 and while writing the novel, her brother Branwell died in 1848 followed shortly thereafter by the death of her sister Emily also in 1848 and then, horrifyingly, by her remaining sister, Anne, in 1849 In fact, it is believed that the characters of her two primary female protagonists in the novel, Caroline Helstone a Charlotte Bronte s Shirley is one of the most beautiful, enriching, and satisfying novels that I ve read this year A novel borne from tragedy, Charlotte published Shirley in 1849 and while writing the novel, her brother Branwell died in 1848 followed shortly thereafter by the death of her sister Emily also in 1848 and then, horrifyingly, by her remaining sister, Anne, in 1849 In fact, it is believed that the characters of her two primary female protagonists in the novel, Caroline Helstone and Shirley Keeldar are modeled after her sisters Anne and Emily, respectively Shirley was Charlotte Bronte s second published novel, following Jane Eyre which was published in 1847 Shirley is not the bildungsroman of a Jane Eyre nor is it the description of the unrequited feelings of a Lucy Snowe in Charlotte s novel, Villette Shirley, in my opinion, is a romance andthan one within a detailed and descriptive portrayal of Yorkshire society and culture in 1811 and 1812 near the end of the Napoleonic wars and during the period of the Luddite riots in portions of the newly industrialized United Kingdom This novel is gritty, earthy, hardy and hearty, and fully representative of the Yorkshire men and women of the moor country of northern England.While Shirley is full of the romance and passion of Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte serves up her heroines and heroes in a muchrealistic and prosaic fashion Perhaps not so witty, or lyrical, as Austen s, Charlotte s characters are so well described as to be very full of life and passion that I began to palpably experience their fears, anxieties, joys, desires, and sadness One quickly becomes taken up with the lives and feelings of young Caroline Helstone, her uncle, the Reverend Helstone Miss Shirley Keeldar, and her mysterious older friend, Mrs Pryor the mill owner, Robert Moore, his sister Hortense, and his older brother, the tutor, Louis Moore We also meet a collection of somewhat roguish curates, a pair of matronly saints, and some wonderful examples of the hard working Yorkshire working class folk This is an equal opportunity novel when it comes to characters.As a reader, one might be inclined to feel that the novel starts slowly, and maybe it does yet, it is necessary Charlotte Bronte starts setting the scene by carefully and descriptively introducing her characters the men and women of her imaginary Yorkshire County of Stillborough or, Still bro , the clergy, the mill owners and businessmen, the workers and their families, and the landed gentry all begin to take their proper place as the novel unfolds After a chapter or two, the novel s plot begins to build, like a storm at sea, with periodic rogue waves containing great drama and pathos combined with the lulls of Ms Bronte s beautiful descriptions of her character s interactions and experiences with the Yorkshire pastoral, i.e., Caroline s and Shirley s flower gardens the dells, oak forests, and runs and the ruins of the abbey in Nunnwood a great name for a forest with a ruined abbey I loved and was intrigued with the novel s contrasting of the darkness or bleakness of the perceived impacts associated with the mechanization of the mills on the Yorkshire business and working class, and the emotional strength, tranquility and serenity gained by the characters in their frequent forays into the countryside and interludes with Nature.The story is told through the use of different literary devices and voices too Sometimes Charlotte Bronte uses the omniscient third person narrator sometimes the first person introspective or reflective voice is used and she even uses the journal entries and written word of her characters to tell the story Knowledge about events and things said, or seen, are sometimes withheld or not shared with the reader This tends to give the novel a sense of mystery and imparts a very realistic feel, and reflects how information was actually shared and acted upon by men and women during this period So, in some sense, while Shirley can be perhaps construed as a novel about the different levels of society in a culture, it is clearly also about differences between the sexes, and the men and women living and loving in that same society and culture.In the main, however, the novel really swings back and forth from the perspective of two of fiction s finest female protagonists the shy and sensitive Caroline Helstone and her close friend, the bold and fearless Shirley Keeldar We watch, with satisfaction, as Caroline becomesconfident and assertive, and as Shirley becomessettled and less impetuous The reader is treated to the experience of the growth of their sophisticated relationship and friendship with one another and we begin to realize the real effect and meaning of their relationship and its impact upon those within their sphere of influence Conflicts and misunderstandings are made right, and intentions and true feelings are made clear and acted upon The novel is really about change changes in the individuals, changes in relationships, changes in how men and women perceive themselves, and changes in the way of life in a community It is also about linkages linkages of people via relationship and friendship, linkages of couples in love and marriage, even the re establishment of a relationship long thought lost, and the linkage of the working class with new ways of manufacturing and production.In conclusion though, this novel Shirley is about love It is about the power of love, a steadfast love, and an unrepenting love This is a powerful proto feminist statement too unrelenting in its patronage of the value of women in society and in the basic human relationship between a woman and a man These are women you can admire and respect and love.I loved this novel and rank it very high in the pantheon of all of the great books I have read All I can say is, Bravo, Ms Bronte, Bravo


  5. Ahmad Sharabiani Ahmad Sharabiani says:

    Shirley, Charlotte Bront Shirley, A Tale is an 1849 social novel by the English novelist Charlotte Bront It was Bront s second published novel after Jane Eyre originally published under Bront s pseudonym Currer Bell The novel is set in Yorkshire in the period 1811 12, during the industrial depression resulting from the Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812 The novel is set against a backdrop of the Luddite uprisings in the Yorkshire textile industry Shirley, Charlotte Bront Shirley, A Tale is an 1849 social novel by the English novelist Charlotte Bront It was Bront s second published novel after Jane Eyre originally published under Bront s pseudonym Currer Bell The novel is set in Yorkshire in the period 1811 12, during the industrial depression resulting from the Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812 The novel is set against a backdrop of the Luddite uprisings in the Yorkshire textile industry 2002 1363 854 1389 632 9789642200719 19 1393 688 9789643745073 1393 847 9789641853930 18491811 1812 1812


  6. Sherwood Smith Sherwood Smith says:

    Shirley is a not quite comfortable hybrid of a romance and an anti silver fork novel, the latter as assuredly as Thackeray s trenchantly sarcastic Vanity Fair, which is set during the same period It is among the first of the industrial novels that demonstrate the desperation of the poor during the beginning of the industrial revolution s inexorably swift changes Bronte probably heard accounts from oldsters about troubles when the looms were being replaced by machines, and there was certainly t Shirley is a not quite comfortable hybrid of a romance and an anti silver fork novel, the latter as assuredly as Thackeray s trenchantly sarcastic Vanity Fair, which is set during the same period It is among the first of the industrial novels that demonstrate the desperation of the poor during the beginning of the industrial revolution s inexorably swift changes Bronte probably heard accounts from oldsters about troubles when the looms were being replaced by machines, and there was certainly trouble enough during her own time there is a mid Victorian flavor, a particularly middle class outlook on history as well as economics, that doesn t always accord with Regency accounts of same For example, Bronte s insistence that uprisings were always led by wily, unscrupulous outsiders, and not by angry, desperate people themselves.There is also a distinctly early Victorian veneration of Wellington, who in 1811 had a year to go before he attained the double promotion that made him into the hero who strode mightily through all the Bronte kids juvenilia antipodal to their various Byronic hero villains Alone out of all the Brontes published works, Wellington gets his veneration here, a year before his rise to national consciousness and popularity.As for the hybrid nature of the novel, it is also a harbinger of what Trollope and others would soon do in delving into ecclesiastical matters There are a lot of clergymen of all kinds in this novel, good, bad, and a mix, as there is a lot of church politicking at the village level Perhaps this preponderance of clergy was prompted by Bronte s reaction to the horrified reviews of Jane Eyre that so grieved her, with their condemnations of the book s immorality.Finally, then there is a sympathetic and protracted look into that most risible of figures, old maids and at the same time, a pungent look at disastrous marriages, and the many reasons why they fail though the early chapters feature men condemning women for rendering marriage hellish, the entire book breathes in answer from the female point of view.On the first page, the unnamed narrator insists that the book is not a romance, which is only partly true Robert Moore is certainly not much of a hero, especially to modern audiences as he tramples all over Caroline s faithful love through most of the book, in favor of his mill Louis Moore, the secondary hero, doesn t even enter the novel until well past half way, and then mostly we hear about him, with a few scenes on stage But those few scenes are delicious with the wit demonstrated inJane Eyre, and in both brothers, though we see the Bronte Mark I Byronic hero none of them could resist , here they are corseted strictly within acceptable Victorian tropes There is a great deal of humor gleaming here and there, like Dr Langweilig of the Moravian preachers Langweilig boring in German , and many wisecracking asides by the narrator.Even Bronte s insistence that the novel isn t a romance is tongue in cheek The tropes of early Victorian romance are definitely there the near deathbed scene with the rejected heroine pining away, the sudden and dramatic revelation of a long lost mother, a gunshot wound that renders the hero helpless to be tenderly taken care of, while he remorsefully counts up his sins and arises determined to be a better man to his long suffering heroine.I think if one regards the novel as one of female agency built around female friendship, then the book s disparate bits fall into place Even those old maids gain agency when times are troubled by organizing social welfare to keep the desperately poor from starving And there is a great deal about female education being crucial to success in life, whether as wives, mothers, managers of estates, or solitary women expected to live in service to others Bronte deals with that platitude with justified sarcasm in a laugh out loud bit of a scene Nor does Bronte forget the servants, many of whom have speaking roles in this novel Bronte acknowledges the unseen work of servants, for example in disparaging the fine oak drawing room in Shirley Keeldar s manor for the grim labor it requires of servants, scrubbing with bees wax laden clothsWomen read mentruly than men read women I ll prove that in a magazine paper some day when I have time, only it ll never be inserted it will be declined with thanks and left for me at the publisher s At the time this was written, Shirley was a masculine name The use of it for a heroine signified another strong willed female Jane Eyre having previously been published to resounding success , and in that the reader is not disappointed But the story is less Shirley Keeldar s than it is Caroline Helstone s Some biographers feel that Shirley and Caroline are fictional depictions of Emily and Anne, who both died during Charlotte s writing of the book The eponymous Jane had come out of her in one white hot session which goes a way to explain the weird structure of the last quarter of the book , but this one took a protracted time to complete, as Charlotte dealt with, and then grieved over, these family deaths.If Caroline and Shirley do represent Anne and Emily, these are vastly idealized depictions From anything I ve read, poor Emily was stump silent in social situations, uncomprehending of much social interaction and unable to deal, much preferring to escape entirely and tramp isolated through the countryside, the wilder the better The distortions peopling Wuthering Heights, whose wild passions threw the Victorian reading world into a tizzy, indicate a fierce inner world, and a strong will fueling it I wonder if we glimpse a bit of the real Emily not so much in Shirley s masterful handling of servants, clergy, gentlemen, and nobles alike, but in her partisanship for every old and ugly dog she met.And in good, plain spoken, unshakably honorable and moral, retiring and obedient little Caroline, we can see Anne in her silent struggles for faith a struggle Charlotte would have recently seen in the poetry left behind in her dead sister s papers Each sister was given the devoted Byronic hero lover that neither had in real life, and above all is lovingly depicted the ardent and loyal friendship that I suspect does mirror the real bond those sisters shared until the end


  7. Helene Jeppesen Helene Jeppesen says:

    As you can see from my rating, I was quite disappointed with this novel However, it wasn t until about 2 3 into it that I realized that this book wasn t going to blow me away, and so I decided to read on till the end I admit that I had high expectations to this novel since Jane Eyre, a masterpiece by Charlotte Bront , is amongst my favourites classics Yet, it is peculiar how Shirley is so different from anything else I ve read by Charlotte Bront First of all, this novel comes with a very ov As you can see from my rating, I was quite disappointed with this novel However, it wasn t until about 2 3 into it that I realized that this book wasn t going to blow me away, and so I decided to read on till the end I admit that I had high expectations to this novel since Jane Eyre, a masterpiece by Charlotte Bront , is amongst my favourites classics Yet, it is peculiar how Shirley is so different from anything else I ve read by Charlotte Bront First of all, this novel comes with a very overt narrator who keeps addressing the reader and makes sure to somewhat include the reader in the process of the storytelling I m not very fond of that kind of narrator, simply because it takes me out of the fictional illusion that I m in and reminds me that this is just a story Second of all, I regret to say that the story behind this novel is very thin and dull In the beginning, the narrator tells us that the exciting parts are going to be the middle and the end, but getting to those parts I was very much disappointed As stated earlier, I kept on reading because Charlotte Bront is after all My favourite of the Bront sisters, but this novel was certainly a disappointment


  8. Amanda Amanda says:

    What an amazing surprise Only time will tell, but this may be my new favorite classic,beloved than Jane Eyre I was so impressed with the cast of characters, the female friendships, the nature writing, the socio political context, the depictions of depression and insomnia, and the ever presence of fantasy fairies, goblins, specters, haunted locations and heck yes even mermaids I am so looking forward to rereading this book and picking up all the little details I missed the first tim What an amazing surprise Only time will tell, but this may be my new favorite classic,beloved than Jane Eyre I was so impressed with the cast of characters, the female friendships, the nature writing, the socio political context, the depictions of depression and insomnia, and the ever presence of fantasy fairies, goblins, specters, haunted locations and heck yes even mermaids I am so looking forward to rereading this book and picking up all the little details I missed the first time I cannot imagine ever running out of new things to ponder when reading Shirley


  9. Lobstergirl Lobstergirl says:

    The Jew basket, wow This book was my introduction to the Jew basket, and I eagerly await its appearance in other 19th century British novels No, it s not a basket full of tiny Jews Nor is it a basket in which a Jew is lowered into a medieval well to be drowned The Jew basket is a basket into which the gentleladies of the neighborhood contribute their knit or sewn household crafts the basket rests in their house for a month as pin cushions, napkins, baby socks, card racks, and penis cozies a The Jew basket, wow This book was my introduction to the Jew basket, and I eagerly await its appearance in other 19th century British novels No, it s not a basket full of tiny Jews Nor is it a basket in which a Jew is lowered into a medieval well to be drowned The Jew basket is a basket into which the gentleladies of the neighborhood contribute their knit or sewn household crafts the basket rests in their house for a month as pin cushions, napkins, baby socks, card racks, and penis cozies are added to it, then it moves on to the next house Once the basket is full of Etsy style tchotchkes, a gentlelady takes it around to the houses of the neighborhood to sell its overpriced contents to menfolk, with the proceeds going to the conversion of the Jews No Jews were harmed in the making of this novel There are no actual Jews in the novel However, we can t say the same thing about governesses Caroline Helstone, one of the novel s two heroines, imagines a future without love or marriage and therefore aspires to be a governess anything to keep a bored, unchallenged mind busy Her close friend old Mrs Pryor, having formerly been a governess, warns her off it with a terrific and fascinating speech I was early given to understand that as I was not their equal, so I could not expect to have their sympathy It was in no sort concealed from me that I was held a burden and a restraint in society The gentlemen, I found, regarded me as a tabooed woman, to whom they were interdicted from granting the usual privileges of the sex, and yet who annoyed them by frequently crossing their path The ladies too made it plain that they thought me a bore The servants, it was signified, detested me why, I could never clearly comprehend My pupils, I was told, however much they might love me, and how deep soever the interest I might take in them, could not be my friends It was intimated that I must live alone, and never transgress the invisible but rigid line which established the difference between me and my employers My life in this house was sedentary, solitary, constrained, joyless, toilsome The dreadful crushing of the animal spirits, the ever prevailing sense of friendlessness and homelessness consequent on this state of things, began ere long to produce mortal effects on my constitution I sickened The lady of the house told me coolly I was the victim of wounded vanity She hinted, that if I did not make an effort to quell my ungodly discontent, to cease murmuring against God s appointment, and to cultivate the profound humility befitting my station, my mind would very likely go to pieces on the rock that wrecked most of my sisterhood morbid self esteem and that I should die an inmate of a lunatic asylum It s so great that we no longer have any jobs today so alienating.The novel s flaws it s too long, it starts out very slowly and tediously, the titular character isn t introduced until p 154, so we really get to know the other heroine, Caroline, much better There s a tedious plot twist involving Mrs Pryor that we can see coming two miles away The socio historical aspects of the novel the violent riots against the mill owner Robert Moore are not well or convincingly integrated with the other plotlines A major love interest doesn t show up until quite late Small, unimportant characters are too dwelt on We are told, unnecessarily and melodramatically, that a particular child will be dead soon It doesn t matter, because the child is not a main character and the death is not brought into the narrative Much of the romance is saccharine Mr Sympson is fantastic, though


  10. Dolors Dolors says:

    Maybe the less romantic novel by Charlotte, but her most mature work, an account of the changing times in the early XIXth century.The story follows the lives of four main characters Miss Helstone, a young woman with no prospects, niece of a Curate in Yorkshire, her serious cousin Mr Moore, a businessman who struggles to earn his living, Miss Shirley, a spirited heiress of a great fortune and her tutor Mr Moore s brother, Louis Being a Bront s novel though, there s not one, but two romances Maybe the less romantic novel by Charlotte, but her most mature work, an account of the changing times in the early XIXth century.The story follows the lives of four main characters Miss Helstone, a young woman with no prospects, niece of a Curate in Yorkshire, her serious cousin Mr Moore, a businessman who struggles to earn his living, Miss Shirley, a spirited heiress of a great fortune and her tutor Mr Moore s brother, Louis Being a Bront s novel though, there s not one, but two romances going on, presented in the most extravagant way and what makes the novel evencompelling is that its characters have flaws and make mistakes and learn their way along the way with the reader.In the end, we find realistic characters who fight to find their position in the world, each in their own way, the story being a faithful portrait of women searching for independence and men challenging the order of the old regime I think that Charlotte used Shirley and Miss Caroline Helstone to speak her mind in several subjects such as politics or religion and that these two characters, being both so different from each other, were what Charlotte Bront would have liked to be in her real life Miss Helsonte, pious, humble and full of patience and good sense, is able to win over her man s heart Shirley, with her strong character and of independent means, who is bold enough to speak her mind about business and politics with men, manages to marry who she chooses and I m sure Charlotte would have liked to be able to do that.I could also glimpse Elisabeth Gaskell s influence in this work, the subject of industrialisation reminded me of North South and the story had many similarities about the peripheral characters and the problems they had to deal with.All in all, a rewarding reading with great final chapters which close the novel with a bitter sweet taste Don t be mistaken though, this is no Jane Eyre, so don t expect accelerated pulse and breathtaking dialogues because you won t find them in here.Some quotations I will never be where you would not wish me to be, nor see nor hear what you wish unseen and unheard Never We will remember that with what measure we mete it shall be measured unto us, and so we will give no scorn, only affection Which won t satisfy, I warn you of that Something besides affection something far stronger, sweeter, warmer will be demanded one day Is it there to give Am I to die without you, or am I to live for you


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