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A Secret Sisterhood: The Literary Friendships of Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, George Eliot, and Virginia Woolf by Emily Midorikawa

Male literary friendships are the stuff of legend; think Byron and Shelley, Fitzgerald and Hemingway. But the world’s best-loved female authors are usually mythologized as solitary eccentrics or isolated geniuses.

Coauthors and real-life friends Emily Midorikawa and Emma Claire Sweeney prove this wrong, thanks to their discovery of a wealth of surprising collaborations: the friendship between Jane Austen and one of the family servants, playwright Anne Sharp; the daring feminist author Mary Taylor, who shaped the work of Charlotte Bronte; the transatlantic friendship of the seemingly aloof George Eliot and Harriet Beecher Stowe; and Virginia Woolf and Katherine Mansfield, most often portrayed as bitter foes, but who, in fact, enjoyed a complex friendship fired by an underlying erotic charge.

Through letters and diaries that have never been published before, A Secret Sisterhood resurrects these forgotten stories of female friendships. They were sometimes scandalous and volatile, sometimes supportive and inspiring, but always–until now–tantalizingly consigned to the shadows.

Emily Midorikawa’s work has been published in the Daily Telegraph, the Independent on Sunday, and the Times. She is a winner of the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize and was a runner-up in the SI Leeds Literary Prize (judged by Margaret Busby) and the Yeovil Literary Prize (judged by Tracy Chevalier). She has a history degree from University College London, and is a graduate of the University of East Anglia’s creative writing masters program. She now teaches at New York University–London.

A Secret Sisterhood:
The Literary Friendships of Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot, and Virginia Woolf
by Emily Midorikawa (Author), Emma Claire Sweeney (Author), Margaret Atwood (Foreword)
Hardcover, 352 pages
Publication: October 2017
by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN 054488373X
(ISBN13: 9780544883734)

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