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The Carmarthenshire Historian


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A Novelist Remembered

Sixty years ago the Welsh authoress, Allen Raine, died at Bronmor, Tresaith in June 1908 and was buried at neighbouring Penbryn Church.

Anne Adaliza (her baptismal names) was born in Bridge Street, Newcastle Emlyn in 1836, the eldest child of Benjamin and Letitia Grace Evans. Her father, a lawyer, was the grandson of the celebrated David Davis of Castellhywel in the vale of Clettwr, who kept a school of widespread reputation and published a translation of Gray's 'Elegy'. Her mother was the grand-daughter of the famous Daniel Rowland of Llangeitho.

As a child Anne attended school at Carmarthen. She became proficient in French and Italian and was a capable musician. In her youth she published, with the help of friends, a short-lived periodical called Home Sunshine, which was printed at Newcastle Emlyn.

She married Beynon Puddicombe at Penbryn Church in 1872; he was foreign correspondent of Smith Payne's Bank, London. After the husband's mental breakdown, they returned from London in 1900 to live at Tresaith.

In 1896 she completed a novel called 'Mifanwy', but having had it rejected by six publishers she changed the title to 'A Welsh Singer, by Allen Raine'. Thereafter she produced novels in quick succession, the best known being Torn Sails (1898), a film version of which was made about 1920. In these days when medical science is so much concerned about mental illness and the toll of cancer, it is interesting to recall that two of her posthumously published books were: All in a Month. (1908), treating of her husband's mental malady, and Under the Thatch (1910), which dealt with cancer, from which she herself died.


Although Vol. I is now out of print, there are still small stocks of Vols. II, III and IV of The Carmarthenshire Historian, copies of which are available from ... at 2s. 6d. each (3s. 0d. by post).
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