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Shirley
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Truman Capote Collection > Shirley - NO spoilers

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Pink | 6554 comments This is our Old School Classic Group Read for December 2018.

Please use this thread for general, spoiler free discussion of Shirley by Charlotte Brontë

If you wish to discuss the plot in more detail, then please use the spoiler thread here

If you would like a free copy of the book, here are some links for e-book and audio versions:

Project Gutenberg

Librivox

Amazon.com Not free, but several versions under $1

Amazon UK Not free, but several versions under £1

Happy reading!


message 2: by Katy, New School Classics (new)

Katy (kathy_h) | 9652 comments Mod
I hope to join in on this one about mid-month.


Carlo | 206 comments I read this recently and it was the least favourite of the 5 Brontë novels I’ve read thus far. Social upheaval and politics played their part but it seemed to me essentially a love story, and a rather dull one at that. Couldn’t wait to put it down and move on to something else.


Pink | 6554 comments Carlo wrote: "I read this recently and it was the least favourite of the 5 Brontë novels I’ve read thus far. Social upheaval and politics played their part but it seemed to me essentially a love story, and a rat..."

Oh no! I hope I have better luck than you with it!


message 5: by Cynda (last edited Dec 06, 2018 08:16PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Cynda | 3243 comments Reading by audiobook I found on Hoopla. I can chop veggies, wrap gifts, and color as I listen. This month reading Shirley has to often be a multi-tasked read.


Cynda | 3243 comments Well maybe the narrator is not translating the French. Yet I think/hope I understand enough. The advantage here is that I cannot see the French words and therefore cannot spend time having Goodgle translate them. If I were in literary love with this book, I would be frustrated. But I am decidedly not in literary love.


Carlo | 206 comments Pink wrote: "Oh no! I hope I have better luck than you with it!."
I'd be interested to hear your views. Judging from the reviews it's certainly a novel which has its fans, but it just wasn't for me. Despite the excellent writing the story just didn't captivate me.


message 8: by Pink (last edited Dec 22, 2018 12:27AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Pink | 6554 comments Wong wrote: "I just finished Shirley and I don't particularly like it. It was unnecessarily wordy which made it quite unpleasant to read, especially in the beginning of the book where bronte spent 3 chapters de..."

Just to let you know I've moved your post to the spoiler thread. Please use this thread for SPOILER FREE discussion.


message 9: by lethe (new)

lethe | 127 comments I voted for this book, but am very sorry to say I have not been able to get to it in December. Hopefully this year.


Natalie (nsmiles29) | 1151 comments I’m excited to read this! It’s been on my list forever. I took my first dip today. It’s very different from Jane Eyre in style and tone. It will be fun to read and discuss with all of you!


Cynda | 3243 comments Last time the group read this book, very.few of us read it. I will be glad to read over comments and to reminded of this social novel.


Natalie (nsmiles29) | 1151 comments Cynda - hopefully a few more will join in this time around. 😄

I like that we always just add on to the discussions that have already been started. It’s fun to read what others thought.


message 13: by Sam (new)

Sam | 354 comments I am reading this for the group and am presently 1/3 through it. I'm finding it quite enjoyable especially since I am reading The Tenant of Wildfell Hall at the same time. Lots for comparison between the two.


Natalie (nsmiles29) | 1151 comments Sam - I just started both this week. I’m listening to Tenant of Wildfell Hall and reading Shirley. Quite different styles!


Philina | 1562 comments I'll be joining in next month :)

I think this is the last of Charlotte's major works I'm still missing.


message 16: by Anjali (last edited Jun 28, 2021 02:10AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Anjali V Raj (anjalivraj) | 75 comments I too will be joining next month after I finish the current book I'm reading :)


message 17: by lethe (new)

lethe | 127 comments I'll join in later on as well :)


message 18: by Sam (new)

Sam | 354 comments I had noticed here and elsewhere that this is a novel that readers have difficulty finishing, and having read a bit I can see why. I also noticed some readers were not as fond of the novel and I can also see why. That we might discuss in the spoiler topic. But I am also finding this a rich and rewarding read and I can see that just finishing the novel will give me a sense of satisfaction. I approached this novel with an intent to complete it; since Jane Eyre was so enjoyable when I was young, I felt I owed the author the respect of reading her more mature and experimental work. I have sought elements of interest to prompt my perserverence, rather than let myself get bored with it and that is working for me.

I wonder if it would help if we had a loose schedule to our reading?


Trudy Brasure | 34 comments I’m interested in joining this group read. I’ve been meaning to read Shirley for some time. (I’ve read JE and Villette.)
I’m interested to see how it compares to the themes and subject matter of Gaskell’s “North and South” and Dickens’ “Hard Times.”


Natalie (nsmiles29) | 1151 comments Trudy - I started reading Shirley not knowing anything about the plot and it instantly made me think of North and South.


Piyangie | 442 comments I'll join in too later the month. I have only to read this one and Villette to complete my Bronte collection.


message 22: by LiLi (new) - rated it 3 stars

LiLi | 138 comments I'll join in August.


message 23: by Sara (taking a break), Old School Classics (new) - added it

Sara (taking a break) (phantomswife) | 5780 comments Mod
I will also be joining this one, but probably later in July or early in August.


Robin P I have read The Professor and of course Jane Eyre. I will probably read this after finishing The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.


message 25: by Brian (last edited Jun 30, 2021 10:47AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Brian Reynolds | 161 comments Trudy wrote: "I’m interested to see how it compares to the themes and subject matter of Gaskell’s “North and South” and Dickens’ “Hard Times.”.."

In David Lodge's humorous novels The Campus Trilogy: Changing Places / Small World / Nice Work, which I read a few years ago, the protagonist, a professor at a fictional Birmingham university, taught a course on Victorian Industrial Novels that included the following novels:

Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
Sybil, or the Two Nations by Benjamin Disraeli
Alton Locke, Tailor and Poet: An Autobiography by Charles Kingsley
Shirley by Charlotte Brontë
Felix Holt: The Radical by George Eliot, and
Hard Times by Charles Dickens

I found this grouping of industrial novels to be an intriguing one.


message 26: by Sara (taking a break), Old School Classics (new) - added it

Sara (taking a break) (phantomswife) | 5780 comments Mod
I've read several of them, Brian. I will read Shirley and make sure all the others are on my TBR. I do think it is interesting to compare what people of the time were thinking, and how their views differed.


Natalie (nsmiles29) | 1151 comments Brian - Thank you for sharing that list! I’m going to add them.

I started Shirley but I’m probably going to take a pause while I read Pere Goriot. I’ll pick it back up after that. 🙂


message 28: by Brian (last edited Jun 30, 2021 01:13PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Brian Reynolds | 161 comments After I read Shirley, which I hope to get to at the end of August, I will have Felix Holt, my only Eliot novel left to read, and then Alton Locke and Sybil left of these "Victorian industrial novels."
Someday, I would hope to read Alton Locke and Sybil in a GR group with a weekly discussion as I expect them to be fairly dry and boring reads and I'll need the weekly encouragement. On the positive side, the one GR friend I have who read Alton Locke gave it 4 stars.


Laurie | 1665 comments I just started this today, but I may take all of July to finish. We'll see. It is the last of the Bronte novels I have left so I am eager to read it plus it is on my Old & New challenge.

Brian, the industrial novel group is interesting. I've read Mary Barton, North and South, and Hard Times. Of those three, the only one I loved was North and South so I am interested to see where Shirley stands in comparison.


Brian Reynolds | 161 comments Laurie wrote: " I've read Mary Barton, North and South, and Hard Times. Of those three, the only one I loved was North and South"

My view of those 3 is fairly similar as I rated Mary Barton and Hard Times as 3 star reads and North and South as a 4 star read.


Aubrey (korrick) | 2627 comments I liked 'Shirley' better than 'North and South' and a great deal more than 'Mary Barton', so hopefully this group read goes well for at least some of you.


message 32: by Mary (new)

Mary Wren (marywren) Hello everyone! I am new to this group… And truthfully I’ve never been part of a group before so I need to learn how it works. I have been trying to read the classics that I feel everyone else has already read… And recently read Jane Eyre… and loved it! So I am curious about this book by Charlotte Brontë. I am Mary Wren from Montana and wanted to introduce myself. I’m sorry if I’m posting this in the wrong place but like I said I have not been part of a group so I need to learn.


message 33: by Katy, New School Classics (new)

Katy (kathy_h) | 9652 comments Mod
Mary, welcome to the group. I too loved Jane Eyre! I haven't read this book, but am planning to read it with the group.


message 34: by Sara (taking a break), Old School Classics (new) - added it

Sara (taking a break) (phantomswife) | 5780 comments Mod
Welcome, Mary. I have also not read this one and will try to get everything lined up to join this read.

If you haven't already done so, go to the Welcome to the Group thread, link below, and let everyone who isn't following this thread know a little about you.

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...


Natalie (nsmiles29) | 1151 comments Hi Mary! Welcome to the group! Jane Eyre is one of my fave books! 🥰

I’ve never read Shirley but I’m excited for it! I’ll be starting a little later this month.


message 36: by Denise (new) - added it

Denise | 12 comments I tried to read Mary Barton but couldn’t get into it. I was also thinking of North and South in reading about Shirley. I’m on Chapter 2 and so far, so good. Jane Eyre is one of my favorite novels. I just re-watched “To Walk Invisible.” Have no idea how accurate it is, but I enjoyed it.


message 37: by Ashley (new)

Ashley  Jacobson | 39 comments Oh good Aubrey! I wasn’t super impressed with North & South, so I hope this is better!


message 38: by Ashley (new)

Ashley  Jacobson | 39 comments I like the writing in Jane Eyre, but don’t love the story, so maybe I will enjoy this one! I do t really like Wuthering Heights, so at least this is by the right sister! Haha! To be fair though, I’ve only read WH once in high school. I tried to revisit it a couple years ago but never finished. I was doing part listen part read so it may have been that out the narrator or maybe I just don’t like it 🤷‍♀️


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