Published in 1849 under the pseudonym Currer Bell, Shirley was Charlotte Bronte’s second novel. In a break from the usual scenery depicted by other Bronte novels, Shirley is centred on the textile industry of Yorkshire during the Napoleonic Wars, dealing with the plight of those laid off and the subsequent breaking of machinery in the Luddite movement. While the scenery differs, the normal sweep of plot development remains intact with an eponymous female lead character making strong decisions for her own benefit rather than what might be expected by an over-demanding social set. There are certain autobiographical elements in the novel though for the most part these are restricted to associations of the characters with Charlotte’s sisters, Anne and Emily, both of whom had died during the writing process. Following close behind Jane Eyre, Charlotte might have been expecting another best seller, but this time the reception was more muted.
- Publication Date
- Sep 15, 2013
- All Rights Reserved - Standard Copyright License
- By (author): Charlotte Brontë