WorldCat Identities

MacEwan, Helen

Works: 3 works in 36 publications in 1 language and 2,237 library holdings
Genres: Criticism, interpretation, etc  Illustrated works  Biographies  History 
Roles: Author
Classifications: PR4168, 823.809
Publication Timeline
Most widely held works by Helen MacEwan
Winifred Gérin : biographer of the Brontës by Helen MacEwan( )

13 editions published between 2015 and 2016 in English and held by 1,028 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"The biographer Winifred Gérin (1901-81), who wrote the lives of all four Brontë siblings, stumbled on her literary vocation on a visit to Haworth, after a difficult decade following the death of her first husband. On the same visit she met her second husband, a Brontë enthusiast twenty years her junior. Together they turned their backs on London to live within sight of the Parsonage, Gérin believing that full understanding of the Brontës required total immersion in their environment. Gérin's childhood and youth, like the Brontës, was characterised by a cultured home and an intense imaginative life shared with her sister and two brothers, and by family tragedies (the loss of two siblings in early life). Strong cultural influences formed the children's imagination: polyglot parents, French history, the Crystal Palace, Old Vic productions. Winifred's years at Newnham College, Cambridge were enlivened by such eccentric characters as the legendary lecturer Arthur Quiller-Couch ('Q'), Lytton Strachey's sister Pernel, and Bloomsbury's favourite philosopher, G.E. Moore. Her happy life in Paris with her Belgian cellist husband, Eugène Gérin, was brought to an abrupt end by the Second World War, during which the couple had many adventures: fleeing occupied Belgium, saving Jews in Vichy France, and escaping through Spain and Portugal to England, where they did secret war work for the Political Intelligence Department near Bletchley Park. After Eugène's death in 1945 Winifred coped with bereavement by writing poetry and plays until discovering her true literary metier on her visit to Haworth"--
Through Belgian eyes : Charlotte Brontë's troubled Brussels legacy by Helen MacEwan( )

13 editions published between 2017 and 2018 in English and held by 789 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Charlotte Bronte's years in Belgium (1842-43) had a huge influence both on her life and her work. It was in Brussels that she not only honed her writing skills but fell in love and lived through the experiences that inspired two of her four novels: her first, The Professor, and her last and in many ways most interesting, Villette. Her feelings about Belgium are known from her novels and letters -- her love for her tutor Heger, her uncomplimentary remarks about Belgians, the powerful effect on her imagination of living abroad. But what about Belgian views of Charlotte Bronte? What has her legacy been in Brussels? How have Belgian commentators responded to her portrayal of their capital city and their society? 'Through Belgian Eyes' explores a wide range of responses from across the Channel, from the hostile to the enthusiastic. In the process, it examines what The Professor and Villette tell Belgian readers about their capital in the 1840s and provides a wealth of detail on the Brussels background to the two novels. Unlike Paris and London, Brussels has inspired few outstanding works of literature. That makes Villette, considered by many to be Charlotte Bronte's masterpiece, of particular interest as a portrait of the Belgian capital a decade after the country gained independence in 1830, and just before modernisation and expansion transformed the city out of all recognition from the 'villette' (small town) that Charlotte knew. Her view of Brussels is contrasted with those of other foreign visitors and of the Belgians themselves. The story of Charlotte Bronte's Brussels legacy provides a unique perspective on her personality and writing
The Brontës in Brussels by Helen MacEwan( )

10 editions published between 2013 and 2017 in English and held by 420 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The Brontës' time in Belgium, five years before they became best-selling authors, is the least-known episode of their lives, but is a fascinating and important one. The book follows in the tracks of the sisters in Brussels, describing their life in the city: though the school where they came to study French has now disappeared, there is still a lot to be seen of the city the sisters knew; two of Charlotte's four novels (Villette and The Professor) are also based on her spell abroad, which was pivotal to her both as a writer and personally, since she fell in love with her teacher Constantin Heger. Charlotte's moving and harrowing letters to Heger, a respectable married man, are reproduced in full here and believe the common image of her as the motherly and strait-laced Brontë. Also including maps of the period, extracts from Villette reflecting real-life experiences in Brussels and translations of the sisters' little-known Belgian essays, what emerges is a complete portrait of a slice of literary history, as well as a haunting evocation of a time and a place that came to haunt the Brontës themselves
Audience Level
Audience Level
  Kids General Special  
Audience level: 0.12 (from 0.08 for Through Be ... to 0.25 for The Bronte ...)

English (36)