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Thomas, Annie

Annie Thomas, afterwards Mrs. Pender Cudlip, was born in 1838 in Alderborough, Suffolk, England, the daughter of a coast guardsman. In 1856 her father died and she found herself in straightened circumstances. Having sold a short article to a magazine for twelve guineas, she decided on a literary career and immediately produced a three volume novel. This was offered to the publisher Maxwell, better known as the husband of Miss Braddon, and he liberally gave her five pounds for it. Not discouraged, she finished another and Maxwell offered her ten pounds. With difficulty she obtained the return of the manuscript and promptly received three hundred pounds for it from another publisher. She afterwards published novel after novel, which were highly successful. In 1867 she was married to the Rev. Pender Hodge Cudlip, curate of Yealmpton, and shocked her neighbors by horseback riding and fox hunting, which, while considered perfectly correct for a clergyman, was not deemed proper for a curate's wife. She had four children, of whom two died in infancy. Many of her short stories appeared in Frank Leslie's Popular Monthly and other American magazines between 1876 and 1884. She died November 24, 1918.

REFERENCES: Allibone, Dict. Eng. Lit., II, and Supplement, II; Frank B. Wilkie, Sketches Beyond the Sea, 4th ed., 1880, 156-58; Victoria Magazine, XXV, October, 1875, 1110-11; Who Was Who (1916-28), II, London, 1929, 1033.

Fireside Library. Nos. 86, 91
Waverley Library (quarto). Nos. 72, 83, 119

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