"Give me a last cup of coffee,
and while I am drinking it
amuse me with an account of her faults..."
Charlotte Brontë’s blazingly intelligent women brimming with hidden passions would transform English literature.
Following the tremendous popular success of Jane Eyre, which earned her lifelong notoriety as a moral revolutionary, Charlotte Brontë created Shirley, set in the industrializing England of the Napoleonic wars.
Shirley is the story of a complicated friendship between two very different women: shy and socially constrained Caroline, the poor niece of a tyrannical clergyman; and the independent heiress Shirley, who has both the resources and the spirit to defy convention.
The romantic entanglements of the two women with a local mill owner and his penniless brother pit the claims of passion against the boundaries of class and society in Brontë’s classic tale.
Charlotte Brontë (1816 – 1855) was an English novelist and poet, the eldest of the three Brontë sisters whose novels have become classics of English literature. Charlotte Brontë famously lived her entire life in an isolated parsonage on a remote English moor with a demanding father and siblings whose astonishing childhood creativity was a closely held secret. She first published her works (including her best known novel, Jane Eyre) under the pen name Currer Bell.
"When Charlotte Bronte removed her heroines from the home, she loosened the constrictions that bound a woman to her stove and cradle, and launched an inquiry into the nature of feminine experience that was to change the course of modern fiction."
—Susan Fromberg Schaeffer
”At the end we are steeped through and through with the genius, the vehemence, the indignation of Charlotte Bronte.”
"Shirley is Brontë's most feminist novel."