A poet in Edwardian London. A woman struggling to let her voice be heard.
In 1894, sisters Charlotte and Anne Mew take a solemn vow never to marry, and never to pass on the family curse: insanity. The spinster Mew sisters descend into genteel poverty, their mother on an invalid’s sofa, Anne, the painter, in a menial job.But Charlotte, the poet, will find immortality, and unexpected love.Her path will require that she keep secrets and make sacrifices that may be too much even for Charlotte’s determined spirit.
In Bloomsbury’s Late Rose, Pen Pearson, herself an accomplished poet, has imagined a vivid and affecting story of a woman’s life in Edwardian London that will engage and move every reader.
We hope that the publication of this groundbreaking novel will bring more attention to Mew, one of the great unrecognized poets of the Edwardian era. Here you can read more poems by Charlotte Mew.
ACCLAIM FOR BLOOMSBURY’S LATE ROSE
“Pen Pearson’s historical novel, Bloomsbury’s Late Rose, traces the life of turn-of-the-twentieth-century poet Charlotte Mew as deftly as we might imagine Mew herself sketching out the measures of her best of her best-known poem, ‘The Farmer’s Bride’ – in pastels or charcoal, with a pianist’s delicate hand. …. Imagining what experiences might have inspired Mew’s best poems, Pearson opens a window into the author’s psyche, performing a labor of love that is at once speculative and essential…. Charmingly, Pearson intersperses her narrative with references to Mew’s own work…. I hope, as Pearson does, that Bloomsbury’s Late Rose will inspire modern-day readers to re-visit one of the most exquisite forgotten lesbian poets of the early twentieth century.”
— Sinister Wisdom
“Pearson writes in an elegant prose that summons the era of the novel in precise detail…. In its pacing and style, the novel earnestly evokes the works of Edith Wharton and other writers from the period, without ever stumbling…. In Mew’s story, Pearson not only uncovers central questions of first-wave feminism, but also finds an opportunity to resurrect an intriguing and worthwhile real-life poet for posterity. A rich, enjoyable historical novel.”
— Kirkus Reviews
“This beautiful story transported me to a different era. Charlotte Mew is a haunting heroine: brave, talented and tormented. I loved her, and I loved this novel.”
— Susan Breen, author of Maggie Dove’s Detective Agency (Penguin Random House, 2016)
“A truly vivid and wonderfully insightful reimagining of Mew’s professional and personal triumphs and tragedies. Written with such skill that I found myself walking the Edwardian London streets alongside Mew, this novel does what great historical fiction should: it brilliantly illuminates the past.”
— Tracey Iceton, author of Herself Alone in Orange Rain (Cinnamon Press, 2017)