Employing her knack for research, her love of the Victorian novel, and her connection to kindred literary spirit Charlotte Brontë, award-winning Irish journalist and novelist Clare Boylan (1948- 2006) accomplished the formidable task of actually "finishing" Brontë's novel Emma Brown. It was the crowning achievement of her distinguished literary career.
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County Wicklow, Ireland
Date of Birth:
April 21, 1948
Place of Birth:
Date of Death:
May 16, 2006
|Place of Death:
"Graduate of the Dublin School of Journalism, and a victim of assorted Irish convent schools."
Named Ireland’s Journalist of the Year, 1974; Winner, Spirit of Life Award for Fiction, Dublin, 1997
|Emma Brown: A Novel from the Unfinished Manuscript by Charlotte Bronte|
Clare Boylan, Charlotte Bronte
When Charlotte Brontë died in 1855, she left behind a 20-page manuscript. From this formidable seedling, Boylan produces a sprawling, satisfying Victorian mystery. "Boylan succeeds in creating a book that is convincing in voice even while it tells a vivid, dramatic and richly absorbing story," according to The New York Times.
Read an excerpt
|The Secret of Boylan's Success|
|In our interview with Boylan, she revealed one of her trade secrets: "Real success as a writer depends far more on keeping the vitality and pleasure in your work and the originality, rather than on immediate recognition and sales. And I promise you, although all writers crave public success, it doesn’t give the same buzz as a delight in what you are writing."|
|An Early Inspiration||Favorite Writers and Reads|
|Jane Eyre (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)|
Boylan told us about how reading Charlotte Brontë's classic in adolescence inspired her, calling it "a breathtaking tale and a cry for revolution to girls isolated by their intelligence or plain appearance. I was 13 when I first read it," she recalls. "I don’t think I’ve ever been the same since."
|The Stone Diaries|
Boylan also told us about some of her favorite books, including The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields, The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler, and The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx. "I love these three superbly written books because they illustrate the humanity and profundity of ordinary lives," she reflects. Read the interview to learn more about Boylan's favorites.