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Literary Precedents for Shirley

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The historical novel has a long and lofty heritage in English literature, with Sir Walter Scott at its peak. Bronte is, thus, part of an old tradition. What might be called semi-historical novels, the genre known as "condition of England" works, were well represented in the nineteenth century (largely as a response to the increased industrialization of the nation).

Examples include Disraeli's Sybil (1845), Mrs. Gaskell's Mary Barton (1848) and North and South (1854-55), Dickens's Hard Times (]1854), and Charles Kingsley's Alton Locke ('1850). Charlotte Bronte had, perhaps beyond her intention, placed herself in distinguished company.

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This section contains 96 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Shirley Short Guide
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