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Leah's blog

Wednesday 10 January 2018


Quaker TapestryThis story is inspired by the Quaker tapestry in Kendal Cumbria which depicts the history of the Movement and also the fact that in the late sixteen hundreds, a couple from my village were sent to York jail ( 60 miles away) for marrying, not by the rites of the Church of England but  by an alternative civil ceremony.

Researches show how persecution lead many Yorkshire families to face the perils of the Atlantic in rust buckets of ships to found new colonies in Pennsylvania; a journey that could take three months and brought death and sickness to many pilgrims. They faced the hardship of life in the wilderness and accommodating the local tribes of the Lenne-Lenape and other not so peaceful American Indians. There was also the temptation of a worldlier Philadelphian society made up of many immigrants, not of their persuasion.

The Glovemaker's DaughterThe story is told through the diary of Joy, orphaned, brought up on a Dales farm who leaves the community to find herself in Leeds and then as a hired hand to help a pioneer family. The title comes from Joy’s mother, a glovemaker married to the son of a local judge, disowned for marrying against his wishes, once free they return for the birth of a daughter that neither would see.  Joy inherits a pair of gloves whose provenance changess the course of her future.

Through Joy’s eyes I explore life in a fledgling colonial settlement with its rules and culture that she finds increasingly limiting. How the love of a man, not of their faith forces her to make a decision that will alter her life for ever.

I have often fancied myself in another life as a pioneer woman who “opened up the West” but this is the nearest I can get to imagining such a life.


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