Annie Besant (1223 words)

  • Ann-Barbara Graff

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Ann Wood was born in 1847 in London. Her family was of Irish origin and she identified with the cause of Irish (and later Indian) self-rule throughout her life. Besant’s father died when she was five; her mother was unable to financially support her daughter and asked Ellen Marryat (sister of writer Frederick Marryat [1792-1848]) to raise her. It seems this was of great benefit to Annie (she received a good education and a stable home life).

In 1867, she married Frank Besant (1841-1917), an evangelical Anglican clergyman, brother of novelist Walter Besant (1836-1901). The couple moved to Sibsey in Lincolnshire, where they had two children, Arthur and Mabel. Besant began publishing short stories, books for children, and essays. H…

Graff, Ann-Barbara. "Annie Besant". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 06 March 2015
[, accessed 26 October 2016.]