Shirley | Critical Essay by Terry Eagleton

This literature criticism consists of approximately 21 pages of analysis & critique of Shirley.
This section contains 6,196 words
(approx. 21 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Terry Eagleton

Critical Essay by Terry Eagleton

SOURCE: "Shirley," in Myths of Power: A Marxist Studies of the Brontës, second edition, Macmillan Press, 1988, pp. 45-60.

In this excerpt, originally published in 1975, Eagleton explores the possible reasons for the novel's focus on the Luddite disturbances of 1812 rather than the Chartist unrest of Brontë's own time.

Shirley was published in 1849, one year after the defeat of Chartism; and yet, though the novel is much preoccupied with class-conflict, it is backdated to the Luddite events of 1812. It is worth enquiring why this should be so. The West Riding of the 1840s was an intensive focus of Chartist agitation: Leeds was second only to Manchester as a centre of radical insurgency, and produced the most influential of all Chartist organs, the Northern Star. During the Plug strikes of 1842 some six thousand workers brought mills in...

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This section contains 6,196 words
(approx. 21 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Terry Eagleton
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