Charlotte Bronte is one of my literary heroes so I decided to give Shirley a go – but I’ve finally admitted defeat after struggling with it for a week or more.
I was up to Chapter 10 and Shirley herself hadn’t even put in an appearance. There was some interesting stuff on the way new machinery and the beginnings of industrialisation affected the people involved in cottage industries – presumably cotton-spinning – but there were pages and pages of character outlines and other sorts of exposition, lengthy conversations about not very much between not very interesting clergymen and so on.
It’s probably me – I’m probably too much a part of the modern instant gratification, short attention span generation to appreciate it. But I just had to give up. Sorry Charlotte!