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On the Ways to the Old Literary Roads around Okehampton

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I could have chosen Offwell, Ogwell, Okeford, Otterton, or Ottery St Mary. But for this Alphabet of Devon Women Writers (up to about 1960), I settled on Okehampton. It's partly nostalgia, the town being a favourite place of my childhood, where I (albeit fairly briefly) and before me, both my parents attended school. I don't know of any individual woman author whose home was in the parish up to circa 1960 - but I do know several who included the place in their writings. Rosalind Northcote, Mary Ward and Sophie Dixon all set down in text their personal responses to the scenic, and/or historical characteristic of the Okehampton locality ...

 ... It is not just the romantic lines of Okehampton castle ruin that call, either when you spot Okehampton castle from the dual carriageway of the A30, or as you negotiate the upward swirls of the road curling up and away from the old town deep in the valley beneath, or through light reflected leaves on the left of the road. It is also the int…

Noting the Ns in North Tawton

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Writing Women on the Devon Land

A-Z of Devon Women Writers & Places  Noting the Ns in North Tawton 



North Tawton, my Devon parish of choice for 'N' in this alphabet, will often feature on this blog. You will already find the parish mentioned in its introductory pages and at least one other post. This small central Devon town, the place of my childhood years, is anchor for my book about Devon's women writers. It has to be the parish of choice for this A-Z, although I could have picked out several other 'Norths', such as North Molton, North Lew or North Bovey, or other N's, such as Newton Abbot, Newton St Cyres ... For this letter, unlike some, I was spoilt for choice.

      Sadly, during the last few weeks, when I have been reflecting on this blog piece, a prominent member of the contemporary North Tawton community has passed away. I  want therefore firstly to join in the tributes to Dr JeanShields, an acquaintance, a family friend of my late parents and of my u…

Ma(r)king the Way to Martinhoe

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The little parish of Martinhoe in north Devon has to represent the 'M' in this A-Z of Devon Women Writers & Places.
I began the journey toward writing a book about women many years ago, long before I researched then embarked on the written study of particular women writers. During the late eighties and early nineties, whilst researching and writing up my PhD, I ventured up to the remoter landscape north of the county to find where author/poet H.D.’s once stayed, in north Devon. She was there For several months in 196, during World War One she lived at Martinhoe then along the road at Parracombe. Just as many other women writers associated with the South West, H.D. had significant connections with at least two of its counties, in her case it was with three (Devon, Cornwall and Dorset). 

      What fascinates me about writers whose lives and texts cross county boundaries is the way their experience feeds into a kind of communication with the land space on which they w…

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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.