Shirley (1849). NOVEL, By: Charlotte Bronte: Shirley is an 1849 social novel by the English novelist Charlotte Bronte.

Shirley (1849). NOVEL, By: Charlotte Bronte: Shirley is an 1849 social novel by the English novelist Charlotte Bronte.

by Charlotte Bronte

Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Monday, November 18


Shirley is an 1849 social novel by the English novelist Charlotte Brontë. It was Brontë's second published novel after Jane Eyre (originally published under Brontë'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.

The novel's popularity led to Shirley's becoming a woman's name. The title character was given the name that her father had intended to give a son. Before the publication of the novel, Shirley was an uncommon - but distinctly male - name and would have been an unusual name for a woman.Today it is regarded as a distinctly female name and an uncommon male name.
PLOT:Robert Moore is a mill owner noted for apparent ruthlessness towards his employees - more than any other mill owner in town. He has laid off many of them, apparently indifferent to their consequent impoverishment. In fact he had no choice, since the mill is deeply in debt. The mill was inefficiently run by his late father and is already mortgaged. His elder brother became a private tutor, leaving Robert to return the mill to profitability. He is determined to restore his family's honour and fortune.

As the novel opens, Robert awaits delivery of new labour-saving machinery for the mill which will enable him to lay off additional employees. Together with some friends he watches all night, but the machinery is destroyed on the way to the mill by angry millworkers. Robert's business difficulties continue, due in part to continuing labour unrest, but even more so to the Napoleonic Wars and the accompanying Orders in Council which forbid British merchants from trading in American markets.

Robert is very close to Caroline Helstone, who comes to his house to be taught French by his sister, Hortense. Caroline worships Robert and he likes her. Caroline's father is dead and her mother had abandoned her, leaving her to be brought up by her uncle, the local parson, Rev. Helstone. Caroline is penniless, and so to keep himself from falling in love with her, Robert keeps his distance since he cannot afford to marry for pleasure or for love. He has to marry for money if he is to restore his mill to profitability.

Caroline realizes that Robert is growing increasingly distant and withdraws into herself. Her uncle does not sympathise with her 'fancies', and she has no money of her own, so she cannot leave, which is what she longs to do. She suggests taking up the job of a governess but her uncle dismisses it and assures her that she need not work for a living.

Caroline cheers up a great deal, however, when she meets Shirley. Shirley is a landowner, an independent heiress whose parents are dead and who lives with Mrs. Pryor, an old governess. Shirley is lively, cheerful, full of ideas about how to use her money and how to help people, and very interested in business concerns. Caroline and Shirley soon become close friends. They dislike social hypocrisy and wish they could do something significant with their lives. As Caroline gets closer to Shirley, she notices that Shirley and Robert are becoming good friends too, which makes her think that they will end up marrying. Shirley likes Robert, is very interested in his work, and is concerned about him and the threats he receives from laid-off millworkers. .....
Charlotte Brontë (21 April 1816 - 31 March 1855) was an English novelist and poet, the eldest of the three Brontë sisters who survived into adulthood and whose novels have become classics of English literature. She first published her works (including her best known novel, Jane Eyre) under the pen name Currer Bell.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781548293352
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 06/23/2017
Pages: 366
Sales rank: 953,376
Product dimensions: 8.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.76(d)

About the Author

Date of Birth:

April 21, 1816

Date of Death:

March 31, 1855

Place of Birth:

Thornton, Yorkshire, England

Place of Death:

Haworth, West Yorkshire, England


Clergy Daughters' School at Cowan Bridge in Lancashire; Miss Wooler's School at Roe Head

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews