Shirley (Wordsworth Classics)
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 Brontës 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; Brontë challenges convention; exploring the limitations of social justice whilst telling not one but two love stories.
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