Jean Devanny

Cheryl Taylor
Download PDF Add to Bookshelf Report an Error

Jean Devanny was born Jane Crook on 7 January 1894 in Ferntown, in the far north of New Zealand’s South Island, the eighth of ten children. Her London-born father, William Crook, whose bouts of drinking terrorised her childhood, worked as a boiler-maker in the gold- and coal-mining industries, but her mother, Jane Appleyard, claimed a more refined military background. The beauty of the South Island inspired Devanny’s lifelong passion for natural history. She was gifted in music, playing the piano by ear and the harmonium in church, but by age twelve was a convinced atheist. She left school at thirteen, but continued to read widely in literature, philosophy, anthropology, economics and science. She explains in her autobiography,

Point of Departure

: “I read them out of some vague,…

3130 words

Citation: Taylor, Cheryl. "Jean Devanny". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 23 September 2008 [, accessed 15 June 2024.]

1245 Jean Devanny 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.