Of course, I now want to re-read Jane Eyre and Villette.
Friday, 3 October 2008
I'm not the fastest reader in the world and the density of Victorian prose requires concentration so it has taken me a couple of weeks to read the enjoyable 600+ page novel Shirley by Charlotte Bronte. Shirley has two female heroines, Caroline Helstone, who is quiet, shy, graceful and hopelessly in love with the dour mill-owner, Robert Moore. Caroline is the epitome of demure womanhood, but a bit wet, so it's a relief when the heiress Shirley Keeldar makes her appearance half way through the novel. Shirley is something of a Calamity Jane, well-meaning, generous and fond of firing pistols, intercepting dog fights and adopting masculine expressions. Shirley becomes good friends with Caroline but she rather likes Robert, too ....