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Summary

Following the tremendous success of Jane Eyre Charlotte Brontë returned to pen a novel every bit as romantic and compelling as her first, but with deeper, heartier themes as she captured the social and political currents of the newly industrialized United Kingdom of 1812. Set in a chaotic time in England, during the height of the Napoleonic Wars, Caroline Helstone's world is turned upside down when she meets the vivacious Shirley Keeldar. Shirley becomes a beacon of light for Caroline as the two become close friends. However, Caroline is soon shocked to discover that Shirley has won the affections of Robert Moore, the impoverished mill owner whom she loves. Fully representative of Yorkshire life at the time, Brontë's second novel is completely gripping, unrelenting and utterly wrenching in its portrayal.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

Public Domain (P)2014 Naxos AudioBooks

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Very much enjoyed

Great book. A little long winded at times but still worth a listen. Excellent narration.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

A disappointment!

Sometimes the characters' voices were difficult to distinguish, but generally well read. Boring story! Waste of my time to listen.

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Shirley

I started this book about a year ago and gave up. Determined not to leave it unread I picked it up and persevered to the bitter end. It really was the most badly written and boring book l have ever read. It could have been told in a sixth of the time. It was self indulgent, whole chapters given over to sermons and introspective thoughts of characters. Honestly, Charlotte Bronte only wrote one book. My criticism has nothing to do with the age in which it was written, in fact the behaviour of the heroine was seen as shocking at the time. Bronte was a friend of Mrs Gaskell who is a hundred times the better writer. Be warned don’t waste your time and money on this book.

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  • C
  • 20-10-17

Wonderful but for one thing...

.... lovely captivating story but golly the French accents of the narrator truly grated by the end. Didn't think they reflected the male characters at all and at times they were emasculating. Story had one or two tiresome tangents but overall a v pleasant listen!

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Long but gets there in the end

Very long story and rather slow. Fascinating insight into lives of gentlewomen in 1800s and last dozen chapters very enjoyable.

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  • Montcalm
  • 03-06-15

Social Romance

Shirley is surely not Brontes best, though its themes are rich--how to combine manufacturing w land preservation , capitalism w justice. The plot is sloooow.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful