First edition of Charlotte Brontë's second novel, published two years after the sensation created by her pseudonymously published JANE EYRE.
"Are you a young lady?"<br />"I am a thousand times better: I am an honest woman, and as such I will be treated."
Set amid the Luddite uprisings of Yorkshire textile workers in 1811 and 1812, SHIRLEY features two heroines, Shirley and Caroline, partially modeled on Charlotte's own sisters Emily and Anne. Charlotte told Elizabeth Gaskell that Shirley Keeldar was the woman Emily Brontë would have become, had she been born into a wealthy family. Tragedy repeatedly struck the Brontë family while Charlotte was working on Shirley: her siblings Branwell, Emily, and Anne all died during its composition. An important early feminist novel.
Read more: Sadleir, XIX Century Fiction, 348.
London: Smith, Elder and Co, 1849. Three octavo volumes, 7.75'' x 5'' each. Original brown cloth with blind ornamental borders, gilt-stamped spines sympathetically rebacked with original spines laid down. Renewed endpapers, original flyleaves preserved. No half titles as issued; publisher's catalogue at rear of vol. I, 3 pages of reviews for JANE EYRE at rear of vol. III. Page 304 in vol. II correctly numbered. iv, 303, , 16; iv, 308; iv, 320 pages. Ink owner name dated 1850 on fly leaf of vol. I; same name in pencil on fly leaves of vols. II and III; binder ticket on rear pastedown of vol. II Some edgewear to boards; text block with primarily marginal soiling here and there and a few archivally repaired closed tears.
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