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Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Somerset Literature: Walter Raymond, Novelist (1852-1931)

"Walter Raymond is the forgotten man of Somerset Literature" ( is the website for Alan Stone of Shepton Mallet.

"Amazingly the works of Walter Raymond have been out of print since the 1930s. We hope to shortly reprint some of the titles. If you would like to express an interest in these books please email our contact address so we can let you know of progress".

"Walter Raymond came of a long line of yeomen native to the village of Queen Camel. In due course he entered the family business of glove-making, travelling about the local countryside from cottage to cottage to collect and distribute the cottagers' home-work. For long the responsibilities of a family-man (he was married, with eight children) preveneted him from devoting all his time to writing." From Biographical note, West Country Short Stories (Faber and Faber, 1949).

Mrs Darkes Dairy by Walter Raymond (PDF, 1.9MB)

Walter Raymond – a guide to his works (PDF, 98KB)

"A romance set in floods on the Somerset Levels and Moors would seem to be very topical fiction. In fact this delightful short novel by Somerset author Walter Raymond was first published in 1894 and republished as part of ‘Good Souls of Ciderland’ in 1901".

Young Sam and Sabrina (PDF 461KB)

Gentleman Uppcott's Daughter (1892) the complete novel online; Walter Raymond ("Tom Cobbleigh")

The novel opens at The Sparkford Inn. The opening pages give a good flavour of the use of the Somerset dialect:

More excerpts:

Walter Raymond, who was born in Yeovil, Somerset, set some of his novels in Marston Magna and Queen Camel. Castle Cary also features (eg "Cary Fair"):

"News did not travel fast in those days..."

Tryphena in Love - novel, complete, online

Two other novels of interest (set in the area of Castle Cary, Bruton and Wincanton, according to Alan Stone): "No Soul above Money", 1899, and "John and Jacob", 1905.

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