Shirley (Wordsworth Classics)

Shirley (Wordsworth Classics)

Charlotte Bronte

Language: English

Pages: 496

ISBN: 1853260649

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Following the tremendous popular success of Jane Eyre, which earned her lifelong notoriety as a moral revolutionary, Charlotte Brontë vowed to write a sweeping social chronicle that focused on "something real and unromantic as Monday morning." Set in the industrializing England of the Napoleonic wars and Luddite revolts of 1811-12, Shirley (1849) is the story of two contrasting heroines. One is the shy Caroline Helstone, who is trapped in the oppressive atmosphere of
a Yorkshire rectory and whose bare life
symbolizes the plight of single women in the nineteenth century. The other is the vivacious Shirley Keeldar, who inherits a local estate and whose wealth liberates her from convention.

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that is soon remedied!’ exclaimed Shirley. ‘We’ll make him bid us good-bye.’ ‘Make him! That is not the same thing,’ was the answer. ‘It shall be the same thing.’ ‘But he is gone: you can’t overtake him.’ ‘I know a shorter way than that he has taken: we will intercept him.’ ‘But, Shirley, I would rather not go.’ Caroline said this as Miss Keeldar seized her arm, and hurried her down the fields. It was vain to contend: nothing was so wilful as Shirley, when she took a whim into her head:

‘Young! They want caning. Bad boys! – bad boys! and if you were a Dissenter,12 John Gale, instead of being a good Churchman, they’d do the like; – they’d expose themselves: but I’ll—’ By way of finish to this sentence, he passed through the inner door, drew it after him, and mounted the stair. Again he listened a few minutes when he arrived at the upper room. Making entrance without warning, he stood before the curates. And they were silent; they were transfixed; and so was the invader. He, – a

truth, that this gentleman did as much credit to his country as Malone had done it discredit: he proved himself as decent, decorous, and conscientious, as Peter was rampant, boisterous, and – (this last epithet I choose to suppress, because it would let the cat out of the bag). He laboured faithfully in the parish: the schools, both Sunday and day schools, flourished under his sway like green bay-trees.5 Being human, of course he had his faults; these, however, were proper, steady-going, clerical

his gig, which he left in charge of a man who issued from an outbuilding on his arrival, led the way in. It will have been remarked that Mr Yorke varied a little in his phraseology; now he spoke broad Yorkshire, and anon he expressed himself in very pure English. His manner seemed liable to equal alternations; he could be polite and affable, and he could be blunt and rough. His station then you could not easily determine by his speech or demeanour; perhaps the appearance of his residence may

would not let her go. ‘Shall I tell my uncle you are here?’ asked she, still in the same subdued voice. ‘No: I can say to you all I had to say to him. You will be my messenger?’ ‘Yes, Robert.’ ‘Then you may just inform him that I have got a clue to the identity of one, at least, of the men who broke my frames; that he belongs to the same gang who attacked Sykes and Pearson’s dressing-shop; and that I hope to have him in custody tomorrow. You can remember that?’ ‘Oh! yes.’ These two

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