The remarkable story of the young wife of Henry Grattan Guinness, one of the Victorian period's great evangelists - a life that sheds light on the interplay of faith, politics and family life through the historic times of the early twentieth century.
Preparing for her husband's retirement from his parish, Michele Guinness, author of The Guinness Legend, decided to clear out the attic and in doing so rediscovered a trunk of letters, diaries, journals and notebooks, over one hundred years old, belonging to Grace Guinness, Peter's grandmother.
Most famous for her unconventional marriage to renowned speaker and evangelist Henry Grattan Guinness, Grace's journals reveal an extraordinary woman who in many ways was before her time: a rebel against the constraints of her narrow religious upbringing, unconventional in her choice of husband, defiant of a society that frowned on a well-bred single mother going out to work, a businesswoman who ran her own hotel, and an early feminist who believed in birth control.
She worked until she was in her seventies, read The Times every day, got through at least one book a week and could comment eruditely on politics, science, philosophy, theology, music and literature... This was a woman who wrote in a frank and sometimes risqué way about her life, love, hopes and fears, and encouraged others to break some of the taboos of their generation.
Grace weaves together the revealing contents of Grace's own words with her own to create a unique and inspiring interpretation of this remarkable woman's life and times.
Price: £18.99 (Hardback)
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
“In her beautifully written and skillfully curated book, Michele gives voice to Grace, a remarkable woman living through extraordinary times. Michele deftly captures her story and her passion with finesse, introducing us to a woman perhaps born before her time, yet ready to embrace the world around her and live life to the full.”
“[Grace] was a really feisty woman. I enjoyed the sweep of history through an ordinary person's life ... and the sense of the bigger picture through her eyes.”
“I found this life-story, told autobiographically with the aid of intimately honest diaries, absolutely enthralling. Grace is the free-spirited Victorian (now there’s an oxymoron for you!) who falls passionately in love with Henry, old enough to be her grandfather and illustrious in evangelical dynasty and fame... But it is more than a love story and a tale of one woman’s glorious survival in a society struggling to come to terms with equality... it is a fascinating document of evangelical history from the nineteenth century revival on. As with all Michele’s works, this one too is so well written and the touches of humour are abundant. I loved it and I loved Grace!”