Aurum Press is to publish A Secret Sisterhood by Emily Midorikawa and Emma Claire Sweeney, authors of the literary blog SomethingRhymed.com.
Jennifer Barr, commissioning editor at Aurum Press, acquired world English rights (excluding the US) to A Secret Sisterhood from Veronique Baxter at David Higham Associates. The US rights have been sold to Nicole Angeloro at Houghton Mifflin.
A Secret Sisterhood looks at the friendships between Jane Austen and one of the family servants, playwright Anne Sharp; the daring feminist author Mary Taylor who shaped the work of Charlotte Brontë; the seemingly aloof George Eliot and the American sentimental writer, Harriet Beecher Stowe; Virginia Woolf and Katherine Mansfield.
Drawing on letters and diaries, many of which have never been published before, the book will "resurrect these hitherto forgotten stories of female friendships that were sometimes illicit, scandalous and volatile; sometimes supportive, radical or inspiring; but always, until now, tantalisingly consigned to the shadows."
According to the publisher: “Male literary friendships are the stuff of legend; think Byron and Shelley, Fitzgerald and Hemmingway. But the world’s best-loved female authors are usually mythologised as solitary eccentrics or isolated geniuses. However, authors Midorikawa and Sweeney have uncovered a wealth of hidden yet startling female collaborations.”
Barr said: “As a long standing fan of the blog, I am thrilled to be publishing this book and bringing these exciting stories to light in the way they deserve.”
Midorikawa and Sweeney said: “It was our own writing friendship that first sparked our interest in the creative bonds of these famous authors. Having blogged about this subject for the past two years, we are delighted that Aurum Press has now given us the chance to write about these stories in greater depth and share them with a much wider audience.”
A Secret Sisterhood will be published in the UK in autumn 2017. Aurum Press is part of the Quarto Publishing Group.