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 - tantalisingly consigned to the shadows.
In their first book together, Midorikawa and Sweeney resurrect four literary collaborations, which were sometimes illicit, scandalous and volatile; sometimes supportive, radical or inspiring; but always, until now, tantalisingly consigned to the shadows.
Drawing on letters and diaries, some of which have never been published before, and new documents uncovered during the authors’ research, the creative connections explored here reveal: Jane Austen’s bond with a family servant, the amateur playwright Anne Sharp; how Charlotte Brontë was inspired by the daring feminist Mary Taylor; the transatlantic relationship between George Eliot and the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe; and the underlying erotic charge that lit the friendship of Virginia Woolf and Katherine Mansfield – a pair too often dismissed as bitter foes.
A Secret Sisterhood uncovers the hidden literary friendships of the world’s most respected female authors.
About the Authors
Emily Midorikawa lectures at City University and at New York University in London. She has taught at the University of Cambridge and the Open University. Her memoir The Memory Album appeared in Tangled Roots. Emily is the winner of the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize 2015.
Emma Claire Sweeney has lectured at City University, New York University in London, the University of Cambridge and the Open University. Her work has won Arts Council, Royal Literary Fund and Escalator Awards, and has been shortlisted for several others, including the Asham, Wasafiri and Fish. Her debut novel Owl Song at Dawn was published by Legend Press in July 2016 to great acclaim.