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Old 05-21-2007, 05:58 PM   #1
Patricia
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Brontë, Charlotte: Shirley. v2.0 2007-06-01

Here's Charlotte Bronte's 'Shirley'.

Edited 1st June 2007. I'm posting a second version in which I have reformatted all the dashes, corrected some typos etc. This version is much easier to read.
I'm removing the original version.

I've added a picture, TOC, and done a LOT of formatting. I found the text in Project Gutenberg Australia. It was slightly corrupt and I spent most of yesterday and today with the Everyman edition in one hand a nd the mouse in the other. I did the first edit in Word and changed all the hyphens to long emdashes but this hasn't come out in the Bookdesigner version. If anyone can tell me how to do this without having to change each one individually then I'll do it. As it is, I had to add every single passage in italics individually.

Plot
Charlotte Bronte published this in 1849, though the novel is set in Yorkshire in c1810-1812, at the time of Napoleon's Continental System, which isolated British trade. There are two heroines - Caroline Helstone, a shy, penniless girl and Shirley Keeldar, a rich landowner. Both apparently love Robert Gerard Moore, a local mill-owner, whose property is threatened by rioting workers, discontented by the downturn it trade. Can the girls preserve their friendship?

At one level this can be read as a historical romance. At another, it is a seminal feminist text. It explores the question of how a woman can be fulfilled in society. The poor Caroline contemplates a future as a governess, though the vulnerability of governesses is bleakly depicted. The rich Shirley is marginalised from the other property-owners because of her sex. Marriiage is shown as a lottery - there are many abused wives. And the old maids are saintly but despised by most men. What is a woman to do?

I should point out that Charlotte Bronte's brother and two sisters died while she was writing this book and the later sections are very uneven in quality.
The Belgians are introduced because she had a crush on a Belgian teacher and, obviously hadn't got over it. The portrait of Mr Malone at the end of the book is a potrait of her future husband.

But, despite the flaws, this is, in my opinion, well worth reading.
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Last edited by Patricia; 06-01-2007 at 09:08 AM.
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Old 05-22-2007, 03:25 AM   #2
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Thanks, Patricia. I've edited the thread title to follow the convention of "surname, firstname". We're hoping to put in place an automatic indexing system for books, so it's important that everyone uses the same format for names!
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Old 02-03-2008, 09:37 AM   #3
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Any chance for IMP and PRC versions please?
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