This novel depicts a mill owner, Robert, whose business is struggling and in turn, rejects his attraction to an orphaned woman, Caroline, in favour of proposing to a rich landowner, Shirley.
In Charlotte Bronte's classic, Shirley rejects him as she loves Robert's poor brother, Louis, but has too much pride to admit her feelings. Caroline withers away due to the rejection by Robert until discovering Shirley's governess is her long lost mother which rekindles her life.
Robert's obsession with profits means he ignores his workers needs until he is shot by an opposing faction. His experience at relying entirely on other people lead him to realise his mistakes and as his business picks up he helps his workers and reignites his attraction to Caroline.
Shirley and Louis overcome their differences to begin speaking to one another in hope of an eventual marriage.
Lia Williams, a remarkable talent, reads this English classic.
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