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Yorke, Hiram:

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405151191.2007.x


manufacturer in Shirley . A forthright, opinionated, yet compassionate man who, in spite of a nature that does not easily brook opposition, manages his relations with his workers much better than most of his fellow mill-owners. He is a cultivated and well-read man who has traveled on the Continent and acquired works of art. His speech varies between broad Yorkshire, which he prefers, and standard English. His political views are radical and idiosyncratic, which makes him something of an outsider in Briarfield. Though he is generally presented as an original, a man of singular uprightness and insight, he is not above counseling Robert Moore to marry Shirley (ch. 9) – an incident which may have led to Mary Taylor’s judgment that, as a portrait of her father, Mr Yorke was “not honest enough. It was from my father I learnt not to marry for money nor to tolerate any one who did . . .” (to CB, 13 Aug 1850). Though Yorke and his family are introduced to the reader at great length (chs 4 & 9) they have singularly little to do as the story progresses, and almost no influence on its development. The picture of Hiram Yorke is agreed to be based in Joshua Taylor, Mary Taylor’s father. ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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