Thursday, January 21, 2010


Margaret Brown

Margaret Brown pictured with her book which is linked to The Society of Women Writers & Journalists - a fascinating read. At the start of my research into the newly published history of the Society of Women Writers & Journalists - THE WOMAN WRITER, I’ve read material written by authors who’ve been linked to our Society. One fascinating book has been written by Margaret Brown entitled THE PRIEST AND THE PLAYWRIGHT. It outlines the friendship and correspondence between her great uncle, Father – later Bishop – William Brown and our SWWJ first President, American-born Pearl Craigie, one of London’s most famous playwrights of the late Victorian period. Pearl met Father Brown, a Scotsman in the late 1890s. His purpose in life, other than practising his deep Catholicism, was to build a church – St Anne’s at Vauxhall, London. Pearl Craigie, a wealthy woman, helped finance the building of this beautiful church now known as ‘the Spanish Church’.

Margaret Brown’s book took many years to complete. She read every single one of the hundreds of hand written letters between Father Brown and Pearl Craigie and we glimpse intriguing stories set in an Edwardian England (and the Isle of Wight) which contrast amazingly with today’s world. Margaret’s book is a great blend of national history, family letters and personal insight, which combine to make a fascinating read.