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Anne Marsh Caldwell was a daughter of James Caldwell of Scotland, a lawyer and businessman, and his wife Elizabeth Stamford, a wealthy heiress. She had a happy childhood and a good education by the standards of the time. The family lived at a large estate called Linley Wood in Staffordshire after 1794. Anne studied music, drawing, languages and all the other things that a young lady of the day was expected to learn, and kept a diary from the age of 14. She began writing at an early age, creating a play called The Enchanted Island by age 22. In 1817, she married Arthur Cuthbert Marsh, with whom she had eight children. Perhaps at the suggestion of her friend Harriet Martineau, Mrs. Marsh published her first novel, Two Old Men's Tales, anonymously in 1834; it was very successful, running to a number of editions over a period of almost 30 years. She continued this success with her next book Tales of the Woods and Fields (1836), and went on to issue one or two novels every year. She also wrote two historical works, The Protestant Reformation in France and the Huguenots (1847), and a translation of The Song of Roland (1854). At least 10 of her tales were serialized in a periodical before appearing in book form as Lettice Arnold (1850). Mrs. Marsh's popularity as a writer and her earnings from her books enabled her to put her only son Martin through Eton and then Oxford University. She assumed the surname Marsh-Caldwelll following the death of her brother in 1858, and came into possession of Linley Wood, where she lived until her death. She continued to write and edit books well into old age.
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