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"Of late years an abundant shower of curates has fallen upon the north of England..."

So begins Shirley, the irrepressible second novel of Charlotte Brontë, published in 1849.


Welcome, dearest Janeites, to the Austen-Brontë reader series once again. I hope you're in the mood for a novel! Over the next six weeks I will be covering Charlotte Brontë's sparkling gem, Shirley, posting a summary and reflection each Wednesday, beginning June 12.

The schedule is as follows:

June 12 – Ch. 1-6

June 19 – Ch. 7-13

June 26 – Ch. 14-19

July 3 – Ch. 20-25

July 10 – Ch. 26-31

July 17 – Ch. 32-37

Why join me?

Often overlooked beside the ever-enduring, passionate Jane Eyre, Shirley is pragmatic, quietly witty, and ardently repressed. It is a tale of both romantic and regional conflict, with inspiration drawn from the historical Luddite uprisings in Yorkshire in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars. Shirley is written in the poetic prose characteristic to the Brontës, and was created by Charlotte in the depth and wake of familial tragedy. (Are you intrigued yet?)

This will be my first reading of the novel, which means you, dear readers, will be privy to any and all first impressions, questions, speculations, and research. I will also join the lovely Sarah Hurley and Na'dayah Pugh later in the summer to discuss their work with Jane Eyre and its connection to my foray into Shirley.

As we journey along together, I would love to hear your thoughts, so please feel free to use the comments as much or as little as you would like. Keep an eye out for my first post in the Shirley series this upcoming Wednesday, and without further ado, I'll let you get to reading!


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