Annotation. Shirley was the second published novel by Charlotte Bronte, after Jane Eyre. It is a social novel set against the backdrop of the Luddite uprisings in Yorshire after the Napoleonic Wars, particularly in the depressed textile industry. The novel's heroine is given a boy's name by her father, who expected a son. The novel's popularity turned the distinctly male name Shirley into a distinctly female one.