Shirley, A Tale

Sevenov August 23, 2022

Shirley, A Tale by Charlotte Brontë

Author: Charlotte Brontë | Published: 1849

Shirley Synopsis

Shirley revolves around the lives of two women born into very different circumstances during the Industrial Revolution.

Excerpt from Shirley Online Book

Of late years an abundant shower of curates has fallen upon the north of England: they lie very thick on the hills; every parish has one or more of them; they are young enough to be very active, and ought to be doing a great deal of good. But not of late years are we about to speak; we are going back to the beginning of this century: late years—present years are dusty, sunburnt, hot, arid; we will evade the noon, forget it in siesta, pass the midday in slumber, and dream of dawn.

If you think, from this prelude, that anything like a romance is preparing for you, reader, you never were more mistaken. Do you anticipate sentiment, and poetry, and reverie? Do you expect passion, and stimulus, and melodrama? Calm your expectations; reduce them to a lowly standard. Something real, cool, and solid lies before you; something unromantic as Monday morning, when all who have work wake with the consciousness that they must rise and betake themselves thereto. It is not positively affirmed that you shall not have a taste of the exciting, perhaps towards the middle and close of the meal, but it is resolved that the first dish set upon the table shall be one that a Catholic—ay, even an Anglo-Catholic—might eat on Good Friday in Passion Week: it shall be cold lentils and vinegar without oil; it shall be unleavened bread with bitter herbs, and no roast lamb.

Find out more about Charlotte Brontë at

Charlotte Brontë's Books on PageVio

Novels: Jane Eyre | Shirley | Villette | The Professor

JuveniliaThe Search After Happiness

Non-fictionBiographical Notice of Ellis and Acton Bell

PoetryRichard Coeur de Lion and Blondel | Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell

Here's a full list of Charlotte Brontë's books.

Completed: Yes
Word Count: 216283

Table of Contents