Allen Raine

6 October 1836 – 21 June 1908

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Allen Raine is the pseudonym of Anne Adeliza Evans, a widely read novelist who sold more than 2 million books throughout Britain and the 'colonies'.

Anne Evans was born in Newcastle Emlyn, Carmarthenshire. Her father was a lawyer who sent her to be educated with the family of Henry Solly, a Unitarian minister, at Cheltenham in 1849. Between 1851-1856 she lived with her sister near Wimbledon, London, before returning to Wales. Following her marriage to Beynon Puddicombe, foreign correspondent of Smith Payne’s Bank, London, in 1872, they both lived on the outskirts of London. When her husband became mentally ill they moved to Tresaith, Cardiganshire in 1900. Beynon Puddicombe’s died in 1906, Anne stayed in Tresaith until her death in 1908.

Her first novel, Ynysoer, was written in Welsh and was awarded joint-winner at the Caernarfon National Eisteddfod in 1894. This was a serial dealing with Welsh life and was published in the North Wales Observer, it was later translated and published in 1909 as Where Billows Roll.

A novel written in English, Mifanwy, was rejected by six publishers but by renaming it A Welsh Singer by Allen Raine it was published in 1896. She now began to write a number of novels based around the coastal areas of Carmarthenshire and Cardiganshire which featured the society she knew and in which she lived: Torn Sails, 1898; By Berwen Banks, 1899; Garthowen, 1900; A Welsh Witch, 1902; On the Wings of the Wind, 1903; Hearts of Wales, 1905; Queen of the Rushes, 1906.

Following her death in 1908 a number of books were published - Neither Store-house or Barn, 1908: All in a Month, 1908, which dealt with her husband’s mental illness; Where Billows Roll, 1909; Under the Thatch, 1910, which dealt with cancer - Allen Raine died as a result of breast cancer.

Allen Raine’s works are usually classified as romances but they are also rooted in a Welsh background which portrays the cultural and social differences and similarities of her time. The characters are real local people - farmers, sail-makers, millers, fishermen, doctors, lawyers - treated warmly, affectionately and with a welcome positve attitude towards the language they speak.

More than two million of Allen Raine’s books were sold and at least three – Torn Sails, A Welsh Singer, By Berwen Banks – were made into films. All three films are now thought to be lost.

Link to The Allen Raine Celebration Society
Information from Welsh Biography Online & Wikipedia