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Sunday, September 14, 2003
Shirley - Charlotte Bronte 

Title: Shirley
Author: Charlotte Bronte
Genre: Classical English Lit.
Rating: 8.5/10
My mom loved english classic literature, and I'd been influenced at a young age. We had a lot of classics in my house, and perhaps almost 60% of them were of Penguin Popular Classics - a promotion of sorts - each book starts at RM5.90 at the local MPH.

One of my favorite women writers was Charlotte Bronte, the last of the three Bronte sisters to live the late 19th century - and also with the more notable works of Jane Eyre and Villette, Shirley was written under the shadow of grief caused by the deaths of her beloved sisters. Set at the time of the Napoleonic Wars it was the work that stands apart from her others as the most socially aware. As such, in her own words, it was intended to be :D

as romantic as Monday morning.

Well, it does has its romance - but not quite your Jane Eyre, I'd say. The story revolves around two women (portrayed after her own relationship with her sister, Emily Bronte - read Wuthering Heights), Shirley and Catherine two good friends, friendships, the men they love, relationship, and how these women are challenged by their somewhat surroundings - giving a new meaning to feminism - even at the 19th century.

The first few chapters were rather hard to read, and it can get rather slow in some places, and sometimes even somewhat dry, even had some French in it. A rather difficult and intense, serious read, not something you'd attempt in the middle of a bog, or while traveling in a bumpy windy rainy ride up Cameron Highlands in the back seat - lose focus and you'll either forget the story, or have a few excretious misses.

Unlike other Bronte books, this is somewhat less popular, but it's a bit of Jane Eyre, Villette, and even slightly Wuthering Heights in its olde English of thys and thees , depiction of characters, use of adjectives, flow of events, somewhat endearingly written conversations, imaginative use of hyphens in sentences - but yeah, with political / economic / religious undertones of Yorkshire, Fieldhead Hollow.

Still very much a good read if you have the time to pore over this 666 paged paperback - would impress the girls if you knew half of the luverly words here too.

Egg  # 8:43 PM
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