Cover of Friends in the FourthFriends in the Fourth

Sheena Wilkinson
Autumn 2007, ISBN 978 0 9552973 4 2
£14.99 (includes p&p in the UK)

Sheena Wilkinson sets girls' school stories alongside 'school novels' for women, and celebrates their common themes of girls' friendships. Books by Antonia White, Rosamund Lehmann, Janice Elliott, Andrea Newman and Angela Lambert are discussed alongside books by Antonia Forest, Elinor M. Brent-Dyer and other 'children's' authors. Sheena originally researched this book for her PhD - delegates at last summer's Antonia Forest conference in Bournemouth enjoyed their preview of the chapter on Antonia Forest so much that we decided to publish it!

Friends in the Fourth is a must for all those who have ever made a friend through collecting girls' school stories, or who read the books because they recall girlhood friendships, or who just want to clarify why they read them. Also, of course, essential reading for students and scholars of children's literature and women's studies.

About the author:

Sheena Wilkinson was born in Belfast in 1968 and took a First in English, French and Italian at University College, Durham before studying for the PhD on which Friends in the Fourth is based. "I used to feel guilty about my enduring love of children's literature, until I hit on the cunning idea of studying the relationship between children's and adults' fiction which made it respectable." In 1993 she returned to Northern Ireland, where she teaches English in a large grammar school.

Sheena's ambitions have been the same since she was twelve - to have a pony, and to publish lots of books. She achieved the first in 2002 when she acquired Scarlet, a Welsh cob. Friends in the Fourth is her first published book, though she has recently completed a novel and won the Brian Moore Award in 2006 for her short story 'Amputees'.

Sheena lives in the County Down countryside with cats Peter and Harriet and an unmanageable, though sadly rather motley, collection of books.

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