Book Cover of Emma Francis Brooke


Lifetime: 1844 - 1926 Passed: ≈ 97 years ago





Emma Francis Brooke

Emma Brooke or Emma Frances Brooke was a British novelist and a campaigner for the rights of women and workers.

Brooke was born in Cheshire on 22 December 1844. Her father was a cotton mill owner and a capitalist. She was brought up in Bollington. Her father died in 1872 and with her inheritance she invested it in her own education. She was educated at Newnham College between 1872 - 1874 and the London School of Economics in the late 1890s. After she left Newnham she returned to Bollington. She seems to have lost most of her inherited fortune some time before 1879, though it is unclear how this happened. She never married or had children. She supported herself as a writer from 1880 until 1912, when she stopped writing entirely.

Her most famous novel, A Superfluous Woman, was published in 1894. This was called an immoral tale by some male critics of the time. The plot of the novel focused partly on a story about the effects of the degeneration of the aristocratic classes on the women who were forced to marry them for money. At the end of the novel, the heroine, Jessamine Halliday, gives birth to a deformed still born child and afterward dies. Brooke implies, but does not explicitly state, that the Lord who Jessamine marries might have syphilis. This was the first of Brooke's "New Woman" novels. Brooke saw this novel and The Woman Who Did as important in trying to resolve the "Sex Question" which she thought dominated debate in the 1880s and 1890s. She was annoyed when H. G. Wells reinvented the question when he spoke to the Fabian Society in 1906.

Brooke died at a nursing home in Weybridge, Surrey on November 28, 1926.

Books by Emma Francis Brooke

A Superfluous Woman Cover image

A Superfluous Woman

Fiction Novel
Family 19th century Death Self Experiences Medical

“A Superfluous Woman” quickly became one of the most widely read of the “New Woman” novels that appeared at the end of the 19th century. At the opening of the story, we find Jessamine Halliday, a pampered young aristocrat, languishing and apparently...

Transition Cover image


Fiction Novel
Dream Power Courage Travel Determination Magic Warriors Secret

In a world where everyone is assigned a role at birth, one young woman dares to dream of something different. In Emma Frances Brooke's Transition, everyone is assigned a role at birth, based on their innate abilities and talents. Some are destined t...