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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.

In Grace, Michele Guinness 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.


***** 5 stars Engaging narrative... the story of a pioneering woman who not only challenged society's ideals, but in spite of her famous surname, lived by her own rules. An inspiring read.
The Lady
[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.
BBC Radio 2 - Good Morning Sunday
An interesting read [...] accessible to many.
Evangelical Times
Delightful... Grace provides an unusual and engaging route into women's history and writing and into evangelisism in in late-Victorian and Edwardian Britain
The Church Times
Grace Grattan Guinness offers us a warm, sparkling insight into the Victorian evangelistic revival in this book. Her personal diaries and letters tell an engaging story... She also experienced and comments on important events and themes of her time... she brings these to life with wry humour in a way that few history books manage.
Christianity Magazine
Grace presents a fictionalised woman of wit, vivacity, and extra-ordinary forthrightness.... Whether she ever thought her story would be written is another matter... but I rather think she would have liked it.
The Church Times
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. Like the prophetess Anna, she lives ever thankful for the seven years of marriage she enjoys before she is widowed and develops her own spiritual identity,contending for her own freedom as a woman, and maintaining a deep love for her family despite financial stringencies, alongside a keen interest in world affairs. She lives through two world wars and under four monarchs. 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; this is a fascinating document of Evangelical history from the nineteenth century revival on, of the missional urge to reach the unreached against all odds, the spiritual call to change culture for Christ (she much admired Emmeline Pankhurst) and the active involvement of the thoughtful Christian in daily life (she was an ardent letter writer to the press!) As 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!
Anne Coles
I really enjoyed it... I was fascinated by the story of the young wife of Henry Grattan Guinness...we take for granted the fact that women can vote and have jobs, but Grace was there at the beginning of it all.
Families First Magazine
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.
Jo Saxton - Author and Director of 3DM
Michele was live on Premier Radio and read an extract of the book:
Premier Radio
The book's author, Guinness, is an eminently experienced writer...who tells Grace Grattan Guinness's story with considerable elegance and lightness of touch. Grace is an interesting and engaging read.
The Irish Independent