The Literary Friendships of Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot, and Virginia Woolf
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 is a winner of the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize. Her journalism has been published in, among others, the Daily Telegraph, the Paris Review, The Times (London) and the Washington Post. She is working on a new group biography, Out of the Shadows: Six visionary Victorian women in search of a public voice. It will be published in 2021.