Marilyn Pemberton retired from being a full-time IT Project Manager in October 2019. She started work straight after her A-levels but at the age of 40 she decided she wanted to exercise the right side of her brain and so commenced a part-time BA in English literature at Warwick University. This progressed to an MA and then to a PhD on the utopian & dystopian aspects of Victorian fairy tales. After giving a paper at a conference she was approached by a publisher who suggested she gather together some lesser known fairy tales and as a result Enchanted Ideologies: A Collection of Rediscovered Nineteenth-Century English Moral Fairy Tales was published by The True Bill Press in 2010.
During her research Marilyn “discovered” Mary De Morgan, a Victorian writer of fairy tales, amongst many other things. She became somewhat obsessed with De Morgan and as she wanted to share her research she wrote Out of the Shadows: The Life and Works of Mary De Morgan, which was published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing in 2012. Despite her intensive research there were still many gaps in her knowledge and because she just could not let De Morgan, or the act of writing, go she decided to write a fictional novel based on De Morgan’s life – the result being The Jewel Garden. This novel was published by Williams & Whiting in February 2018. This novel is shortlisted for the Chanticleer 2019 Goethe Book Award for post 1750s Historical Fiction. Whether it gets any further will be known over the first few months of 2020.
Marilyn’s second novel, The Song of the Nightingale: a tale of two castrati, was published December 2019 by The Conrad Press. It is a historical novel, set in 18th century Italy that tells of two young boys who are bought from their families, castrated and then trained to be singers. This was something that was actually done at the time, though this story is purely fictional. The tale is told from the point of view of Philippe, the count’s secretary, who is responsible for the two boys. It tells of passion, revenge, jealousy, love and redemption.
Marilyn is now writing the first of a trilogy, that will tell of three generations of women who are story-tellers but who face sometimes insurmountable obstacles to getting their her-stories heard.
Marilyn is a member of the Society of Women Writers & Journalists and has won first prize in one of their short story competitions and second place poetry prize. She is also a member of the Historical Novel Society and The Society of Authors, as well as the HWA.