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December 09 , 2008

Winifred Gérin

Biographer of the Brontës


The biographer Winifred Gérin (1901-81), wrote on all the lives of the four Brontë siblings. She also wrote about Elizabeth Gaskell, Anne Thackeray Ritchie and Fanny Burney. This book is based on her letters and on her unpublished memoir. Gérin’s childhood and youth, like the Brontës’, was characterised by a cultured home and intense imaginative life shared with her sister and two brothers, and by family tragedies (the loss of two siblings in early life). Her happy life in Paris with her Belgian cellist husband, Eugène Gérin, was brought to an abrupt end by the Second World War. After Eugène’s death in 1945 Winifred coped with bereavement through poetry and playwriting until discovering her true literary metier on the trip to Haworth. On the same visit she met her second husband, a Brontë enthusiast twenty years her junior.

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