Shropshire, Land of Inspiration
Mary Webb’s love and intimate knowledge of the county permeates all her work. She had an extraordinary perception of the minutiae of nature, and it is this keen observation that gives her prose its unique quality.
In her introduction to Precious Bane she writes” Shropshire is a county where the dignity of ancient things lingers long, and I have been fortunate not only in being born and brought up in its magical atmosphere, and in having many friends in farm and cottage who, by pleasant talk and reminiscence have fired the imagination, but also in having the companionship of such a mind as was my father’s- a mind stored with old tales and legends that did not come from books, and rich with an abiding love for the beauty of forest and harvest field…”
She would frequently change place names in her novels, often to convey the atmosphere of the location.