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Emma Brown by Clare Boylan
Published by Little, Brown in 2003

When Charlotte Brontë died in 1855, she left behind the beginnings of a new novel – twenty pages of a book in progress called Emma. Almost 150 years later, Clare Boylan returned to this intriguing fragment and turned it into an astonishing story.

The Arrival of Conway Fitzgibbon at Fuchsia Lodge with his daughter Matilda is a source of delight to the headmistress, Miss Wilcox. The unsuccessful ladies' school is eager for new pupils, particularly one so finely dressed and boasting a father who is 'quite the gentleman'. But as Christmas approaches, and Miss Wilcox inquires about arrangements for the holidays, she is in for a shock. Conway Fitzgibbon, like the address he left behind, does not exist.
So who is Matilda? With Miss Wilcox unable to extract an answer from the girl, it falls to a local gentleman, Mr. Ellin, and a childless widow, Isabel Chalfant, to unravel the truth, an investigation that begins as curiosity and ends up changing all their lives for ever..

Clare Boylan has seamlessly developed Brontë’s story of a girl without a past into a remarkable portrait of a Victorian society with a shameful secret at its heart.

Clare Boylan was born in Dublin in 1948 and died in 2006. She was an acclaimed novelist, short story writer and journalist and was a member of Aosdána.

‘Beautifully written….. Perfect pitch. So effective is this combination of tension and tenderness at capturing Brontë’s spirit that the minute you emerge from Clare Boylan’s book you head straight for the bookshelf to reimmerse yourself in a world of Charlotte’s making. Surely there is no better recommendation?’ Daily Mail

‘Clare Boylan has written a splendid novel, a tribute to Charlotte Brontë and a triumph for herself’
Nina Bawden

'Hugely daring...this is living in the mind of another writer...delicious, beautifully written, quite superlative.'
Independent on Sunday

'Extraordinary...wonderfully intricate and intriguing' Irish Times

By the same author
Another Family Christmas
Beloved Stranger
Black Baby
Concerning Virgins
Holy Pictures
Home Rule
Last Resorts
A Nail in the Head
Room for a Single Lady
That Bad Woman

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