“In an original and revealing biography ... Helen MacEwan presents not just a fascinating study of Gérin’s long and at times very personal preoccupation with the Brontës, but the story of a highly individual character ... Using much previously unknown and unpublished material, MacEwan has painstakingly put together a portrait of one woman and her times that adds significantly to Brontë studies and literary biography, while her deftly-told narrative brings Gérin’s private, feeling, thoughtful character to life with unerring sympathy.”
Claire Harman, biographer and critic, author of the major new biography Charlotte Brontë: A Life and of Jane’s Fame.
“In this beautifully written and carefully researched biography of a biographer, Helen MacEwan shows us something of the European dimension of Gérin’s experience and understanding, as well as revealing the deeply emotional character of her subject, in her joys, passions and losses ... Helen MacEwan shines a fascinating light, not only on a remarkable woman of letters, but on a reader and writer of exceptional integrity.”
Stevie Davies, critic and novelist, author of Emily Brontë: Heretic and Four Dreamers and Emily.
“For anyone, like me, who knows Winifred Gérin only as the biographer of the Brontës, this book will come as a revelation. Not only did Gérin have an astonishingly adventurous life, but Helen MacEwan has brought it before us in vivid and enthralling detail ... MacEwan’s book draws on extensive original research into unpublished papers and records, but she wears her erudition lightly and always gives a sense of the lived moment rather than the dry facts. She achieves, in fact, that balance between sense and sensibility which friends appreciated in Gérin’s own work. This is a thrilling book to read, a page-turner, offering through specific vignettes important glimpses into the social history of the twentieth century. It will appeal to an audience well beyond Brontë devotees.”
Patsy Stoneman is Emeritus Reader in English, University of Hull, and Acting President of the Brontë Society. She is the author of Charlotte Brontë in the Writers and their Work series, Northcote House Publishers.
“This lovingly researched biography of a biographer is a fitting tribute to Winifred Gerin’s passionate commitment to the Brontës and offers a slice of twentieth century history through the prism of one remarkable woman’s experiences.” Lucasta Miller, author of The Brontë Myth
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