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Set during the Napoleonic wars at a time of national economic struggles, Shirleyis an unsentimental yet passionate depiction of conflict among classes, sexes, and generations. Struggling manufacturer Robert Moore considers marriage to the wealthy and independent Shirley Keeldar, yet his heart lies with his cousin Caroline. Shirley, meanwhile, is in love with Robert’s brother, an impoverished tutor. As industrial unrest builds to a potentially fatal pitch, can the four be reconciled?
Charlotte Bront+½ (1816-û1855) is the author of Jane Eyre, Shirley, Villette, and The Professor (published posthumously). Jessica Cox is a research student and postgraduate tutorial assistant in the Department of English at the University of Wales, Swansea. Lucasta Miller is the author of The Bront+½ Myth and writes for the Guardian. Heather Glen teaches at the University of Cambridge and is the editor of the Penguin Classics edition of Charlotte Bront+½-'s The Professor.