Monday, 28 April 2014

Maud Anna Bell

Some time ago I received an e-mail asking me if I had any information on Maud Anna Bell who is on my list of Female Poets of the First World War.  Unfortunately, I had very little though I am always happy to share what I have.

On Saturday, I received a lovely e-mail with quite a lot of information that Dr. Edlin-White sent me.

As Dr Edlin-White is producing a pamphlet on Maud Anna Bell, I will not say too much here but just give you an extract from her e-mail which concerns the poem entitled "Crocuses at Nottingham" attributed to Maud Anna Bell in Nosheen Khan's "Women's Poetry of the First World War" (pp 58 - 60).   Nosheen Khan mentions that Maud Anna Bell "worked for various war charities" during WW1 (. 182), one of which it seems was the Serbian Relief Fund. It also appears that Maud Anna may have been a friend of the Dearmer family as they lived in the same part of London.  Having looked up the Dearmer family (Geoffrey and Christopher were both poets and both soldiers during WW1), I have added Mabel Dearmer to my list of Inspirational Women of WW1 (

Here is an extract from Dr. Edlin-White's e-mail to me:

"I have been unable to find any link between Maud Bell and Nottingham, but the crocuses in the Meadows in Nottingham were well-known in the same way as the lilacs at Kew and used by a number of poets so she may simply have seized on an evocative image to contrast with the horror and barrenness of the trenches.

Dr R. Edlin-White 26.4.14"