Anne Hughes - 18th Century Farmer's Wife

Many people, foremost among them the Anne Hughes Research Team, believe there is the ‘voice’ of a real person speaking through the pages of this book. It sounds more clearly in the opening sections than it does in other places, but there is a ‘voice’. While there seems to be additional material and some confusion because of the way it has come down to us, it would be a shame to disregard everything and throw the baby out with the bath water. The problem is that the book has been muddled. Not deliberately, but simply in order to meet the commercial requirements when it was first published and because of the circumstances in which it was transcribed. Something of Anne was lost along the way. Indeed, Jeanne Preston may not even have kept to the original name as she believed it was wrong to name living people and, although ‘Anne’ was a long time dead by 1937, it’s not impossible that her true name was shared by someone living. Without the physical manuscript to back up Anne’s story, everything we can say is conjecture. But for now, we’ll look at her as a real person in a real time and place.

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