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Ann Mason Freeman Devon Breakaway Bible-Christian, Quaker, Letter-Writer, Memoirist and Passionate Preacher

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From the first moment I came across references to her the C19 female Devon preacher/memoirist/ letter writer Ann Mason Freeman caught my attention.  You will find various online sources which feature Ann, so she's not entirely extinguished from Devon's history. But she is one of the lucky ones, records about Freeman's life and her memoir only survive because of her links with the Bible Christians, one of the evangelical movements which sprang up in the westcountry during the C19. Initially Ann Freeman intrigued me because her home background, a farming family in west Devon, was similar to that of many of my own ancestors and as well she had lived not far from the parishes with which branches of our family were also rooted for hundreds of years. Broadly speaking, that takes in parishes that lie within a triangle formed by the point of Okehampton, Barnstaple and Bude - Broadwoodkelly; Dowland; Monkokehampton and other neighbouring parishes.
         One of my gre…

Delving into Devon's Literary Archives in search of Forgotten Women Writers

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After rather a long gap posting, during which I’ve been busy catching up with other neglected writing duties, here I am again. This year my main plan is to concentrate on women who have not yet featured in this blog or in my manuscript. In this first post I intend to delve into some of the local archives in search of texts by women writers who were linked with Devon. Many of these writings and their authors have virtually disappeared from public awareness.

In 2016, Anna Boyd Rioux published an article entitled Erased from history: Too many women writers -- like Constance Fenimore Woolson -- are left to languish in moldy archives. What will it take to bring them back? Rioux continued:

'Feminist scholars have done the hard work of recovering women writers, but we're not there yet. Far from it' ... Two of the books on many of the best-of-2015 lists were written by women who died in virtual obscurity, Clarice Lispector in 1977 and Lucia Berlin in 2004. The republication of th…

A Zeal Monachorum author who was 'Queen of Romance' - Margaret Pedler's 'big R' fictions and Devon

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Women Writing on the Devon Land


A-Z of Devon Women Writers and Places  
Z is Zeal Monachorum


It is not just Devon's 'Queen of Crime' Agatha Christie whose prestigious textual contribution to the genre of crime left its distinctive mark on the literary achievements provided by women writers from the author's home county. Less well-known nowadays - and admittedly, some might judge, a less 'worthy' Devon writer than Christie - was 'Queen of Romance', Margaret Pedler, whose first novel The Splendid Folly, was published just over one hundred years ago, in 1917. The novel received fair reviews from newspapers at the time, including The Western Times, which reported that 'Mrs Pedler would herself make no high literary claims for The Splendid Folly. She set herself simply to write a readable, entertaining, love story with a touch of Devonshire setting and a topical thread running through its plot'. That reviewer's conclusion may be valid; I cannot say…

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Women Writing on the Devon Land More Posts

Cottage at Cheldon

The cottage holiday-home of author Elizabeth Stucley in the 1960s. See Her-Story at Hartland.

Cheriton Fitzpaine Church

At Cheriton Fitzpaine church where Jean Rhys is buried. Gravestone on left of porch. See Caribbean Seas at Cheriton Fitzpaine.