These two classic novels, together with Brontë's well-known Jane Eyre and Villette, comprise a magnificent oeuvre, each one a singular achievement of characterization, human understanding, and narrative elegance and drama.
Shirley is the story of a complicated friendship between two very different women: shy and socially constrained Caroline, the poor niece of a tyrannical clergyman; and the independent heiress Shirley, who has both the resources and the spirit to defy convention. The romantic entanglements of the two women with a local mill owner and his penniless brother pit the claims of passion against the boundaries of class and society.
The Professor—the first novel Brontë completed, the last to be published—is both a disturbing love story and the coming-of-age tale of a self-made man. At its center is William Crimsworth, who has come to Brussels to work as an instructor in a school for girls. When he becomes entangled with Zoräide Reuter, a charismatic and brilliantly intellectual woman, the fervor of her feelings threatens both her own engagement and William's chance of finding true love.
(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)
About the Author
The eldest of the three Bront? sisters, Charlotte is best known for her novel Jane Eyre, which was published under the pseudonym Currer Bell. Bront?'s works were revolutionary for their time, reflecting a truthfulness about love and relationships that was not common in Victorian-era England. While Jane Eyre was, and continues to be, her most popular work, Charlotte Bront? published numerous works during her short life, including juvenilia, poetry, and the novels Shirley and Villette. Charlotte Bront? died in 1855, outliving both of her sisters, Anne and Emily. Collectively, the Bront? sisters' novels are considered literary standards that continue to influence modern writers.
Rebecca Fraser has worked as a researcher, an editor, and a journalist, and has written for many publications, including Tatler, Vogue, The Times, and The Spectator. She is the author of Charlotte Bronte and lives in England.
“We read Charlotte Bronte not for exquisite observation of character, not for comedy, not for a philosophic view of life, but for her poetry. Probably that is so with all writers who have, as she has, an overpowering personality, so that . . . they only have to open the door to make themselves felt. There is in them some untamed ferocity perpetually at war with the accepted order of things.” —Virginia Woolf