Molly Goodland obituary


My mom, Molly Goodland, who has died aged 96, wrote vivid descriptions of life on Exmoor within the rural south-west of England.

For a lot of many years, her time was devoted first to taking care of kids after which to caring. Solely later in life was she capable of finding time for writing, and she or he described her Nineteen Thirties childhood movingly and perceptively in Rising Wild on Exmoor, printed underneath her maiden identify, Molly Richards, in 2007.

Molly was born on Broomstreet Farm, between Porlock and Oare on Exmoor (the realm fictionalised by RD Blackmore in Lorna Doone). She grew up with 5 siblings, an alcoholic father, Ernest Richards, and a mom, Mary (nee Ridd), who might solely simply deal with the pressures of motherhood and sheep rearing. Molly left college at 13 and located work on native farms after which as a farm-help throughout Britain and in France, however she all the time got here again house.

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Molly Goodland with an enormous puffball harvested on Exmoor

Within the late Fifties, a Cambridge-educated businessman from Taunton, John Goodland, purchased Twitchen, the cottage beneath her household’s farm. Each at a stage once they wished to calm down, Molly and John turned engaged. Pictures of their wedding ceremony at Oare church in 1959 present the Exmoor farming neighborhood and the Taunton enterprise class mingling uneasily. The couple moved to Taunton and raised three sons, my brothers, Tom and Phil, and me.

When John was identified with most cancers, Molly nursed him till his loss of life in 1978. After this, she moved home restlessly, every time a bit nearer to Exmoor. Her sister, Margaret, and her mom fell in poor health, adopted by her two brothers, who had by no means married or moved from the farm. I bear in mind her driving off nearly each day to take care of first one, after which the opposite. After their deaths, the farm was taken over by a cousin.

Solely from her 70s onwards did Molly have the time to spend on what she actually wished: writing. Other than her autobiography, which rigorously preserves West Nation dialect in its vividly descriptive prose, she printed two books of poetry, Night on Exmoor (2007) and Feeding Woman Winifred’s Cats (2009).

In a assessment of her work, Michael Laskey described her as “a real poet. Solely with out self-dramatisation or self-pity, she confronts her internal and outer demons.”

She is survived by Tom, Phil and me, and by 5 grandchildren.


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