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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2017 Quattro Publishing PLC (P)2017 W.F. Howes

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If you love Austen, Bronte, Eliot and Woolf

This book fills in information not available in the standard biographies of Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, George Eliot and Virginia Woolf (as well as governess and playwright Anne Sharp, feminist author Mary Taylor, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Katherine Mansfield, It also includes snippet biographical details about Jean Rhys, Eliot Bliss, Vera Brittain, Winifred Holtby, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings and Zora Neale Hurston . It is about friendship, literary interests, life as a writer, the lives of women, and feminist issues. It is history.

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Female writers excelling thru friendships

I LOVED this book! In college, and afterwards, I studied and analyzed the works of Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, Virginia Woolf, Katherine Mansfield, Harriet Beecher Stowe and many other female writers in history. I always knew women in the late 18th, 19th and 20th century struggled to get published. This book thru research and letters illustrated the struggles many of these women went through and how friendship helped them to grow as writers and women even with all the scrutiny and societal constraints because they were women.

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Tendentious

While this book includes some interesting elements, the authors are trying far too hard to make their point, often relying on scanty evidence, much tweaked.

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Four Authors with Fascinating Friendships

I'm a big fan of Jane Austen and Virginia Woolf, so I was very interested when I saw this title. But it turned out that the friendships of Charlotte Bronte and George Eliot were even more dramatic and influential than could have been expected. Bronte's friendship with Mary Taylor formed the backbone of some of the plots of her novels and even shaped her worldview; Eliot's correspondence with Harriet Beecher Stowe seemed less intimate than the other authors' relationships but shows how respected she was abroad. This book showed great detail on authors that are famous for their works, but also brings to light the works of authors they knew and corresponded with. And while Anne Sharp and Mary Taylor are less well-known than Katherine Mansfield or Harriet Beecher Stowe, how their friendships with Austen and Bronte changed the reading world as we know it.