G.H. Lewes (essay date 1850)
SOURCE: "Currer Bell's Shirley," in Critical Essays on Charlotte Brontë, edited by Barbara Timm Gates, G. K. Hall, 1990, pp. 217-23.
[In the following excerpt, originally published in 1850 in the Edinburgh Review, Lewes criticizes the characters in Shirley as unnatural and unrealistic, despite the author's claim that they are drawn from real life.]
Shirley is inferior to Jane Eyre in several important points. It is not quite so true; and it is not so fascinating. It does not so rivet the reader's attention, nor hurry him through all obstacles of improbability, with so keen a sympathy in its reality. It is even...
(The entire section is 3423 words.)