Brown by Clare Boylan
Published by Little, Brown in 2003
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.
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..
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.
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
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
Boylan has written a splendid novel, a tribute to Charlotte Brontë
and a triumph for herself’
daring...this is living in the mind of another writer...delicious,
beautifully written, quite superlative.'
Independent on Sunday
intricate and intriguing' Irish Times
the same author
Another Family Christmas
A Nail in the Head
Room for a Single Lady
That Bad Woman
Book of the Month
Books of the Month