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Against a backdrop of the Luddite uprisings in the Yorkshire textile industry, the novel is set in Yorkshire in the period 1811-12, during the industrial depression resulting from the Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812.
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Of late years an abundant shower of curates has fallen upon the north of England: they lie very thick on the hills; every parish has one or more of them; they are young enough to be very active, and ought to be doing a great deal of good. But not of late years are we about to speak; we are going back to the beginning of this century: late years -- present years are dusty, sunburned, hot, arid; we will evade the noon, forget it in siesta, pass the midday in slumber, and dream of dawn. If you think, from this prelude, that anything like a romance is preparing for you, reader, you never were more mistaken. Do you anticipate sentiment, and poetry, and reverie? Do you expect passion, and stimulus, and melodrama? Calm your expectations; reduce them to a lowly standard. Something real, cool and solid lies before you; something unromantic as Monday morning, when all who have work wake with the consciousness that they must rise and betake themselves thereto. It is not positively affirmed that you shall not have a taste of the exciting. . . .
About the Author
Charlotte Bronte (1816 - 1855) was an English novelist and poet, the eldest of the three Bronte sisters who survived into adulthood and whose novels have become classics of English literature. She first published her works (including her best known novel, Jane Eyre) under the pen name Currer Bell.
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