In this profile, Emma Donoghue tells the story of two eccentric Victorian spinsters: Katherine Bradley (1846-1914) and her niece Edith Cooper (1862-1913); poets and lovers, who wrote together under the name of Michael Field.
They wrote eleven volumes of poetry and thirty historical tragedies, but perhaps their best work - richest in emotional honesty and wit - was the diary that the two women shared for a quarter of a century, and these unpublished journals and letters form the basis for the groundbreaking We are Michael Field.
The Michaels lived in a contradictory world of inherited wealth and terrible illness, silly nicknames and religious crises. They preferred men to women, and yet their greatest devotion was saved for their dog. Snobbish, arrogant eccentrics who faced bereavement and death with great courage, the Michaels never lost their appetite for life or their passion for each other.