Book choice for August 2018

The Secret Sisterhood [suggested by Noel Fagan]

The Secret Sisterhood

A Secret Sisterhood uncovers the hidden literary friendships of the world's most respected female authors.

Drawing on letters and diaries, some of which have never been published before, this book will 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.

In their first book together, Midorikawa and Sweeney resurrect these literary collaborations, which were sometimes illicit, scandalous and volatile; sometimes supportive, radical or inspiring; but always, until now, tantalisingly consigned to the shadows. [product description from Amazon]

The two authors Emily Midorikawa & Emma Claire Sweeney both have websites.

 

Shortlisted for this month

The book selector for the month can choose up to three books for nomination. This month, since it is a special year for women, Noel's other selections were all either biographies or autobiographies of women who were, or deserved to be, famous:

Suffragette: My Own Story

Suffragette: My Own Story

Emmeline Pankhurst grew up all too aware of the prevailing attitude of her day: that men were considered superior to women. When she was just fourteen she attended her first suffrage meeting, and returned home a confirmed suffragist. Throughout the course of her career she endured humiliation, prison, hunger strikes and the repeated frustration of her aims by men in power, but she rose to become a guiding light of the Suffragette movement. This is the story, in Pankhurst’s own words, of her struggle for equality. [Back cover text]

The book is available to read for free at Project Gutenberg, and several other online sources.

Emmeline Pankhurst's Wikipedia page.

 

The Invisible Woman

The Invisible Woman

This is the story of someone who - almost - wasn't there; who vanished into thin air. Her names, dates, family and experiences very nearly disappeared from the record for good...

'Claire Tomalin's multi-award-winning story of the life of Nelly Ternan and Charles Dickens is a remarkable work of biography and historical revisionism. It not only returns the neglected actress to her rightful place in history, but provides a compelling and truthful portrait of the great Victorian novelist. A biography of high scholarship and compelling detective work' Melvyn Bragg, Independent.

The book was made into a film in 2013, which has its own Wikipedia page (although the biography itself does not).

 

Author's Wikipedia page
Tomalin does not have a website, but there are biograhical notes on the British Council literature pages.

 

 

 

 

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