At the Circulating Library Author Information: Marion Agnes Bengough
Author: Marion Agnes Bengough (1857–1896)
Biography: Marion Agnes Bengough was born in 1857 in Gloucester, the daughter of George Henry Bengough of the Ridge, Wotton-under-Edge, and his first wife Harriet Evans. Her mother died when she was one year old and her father married again in 1860. Her father, a "rich young squire," help to found the Hardwicke Reformatory School in 1852 with Thomas Barwick Lloyd Baker. His failing health, attributed to his exertions in the cause of reformatories, led the family to Italy where he died in 1865 in Florence. In 1879, Bengough and a friend Elenora Catharine Cuyler went to South Africa as nurses in the Kimberley area. She wrote two novels: So Near Akin (1891) and In a Promised Land (1893). The latter novel, about two women who go to South Africa as missionary wives, draws on her experience of South Africa, especially the diamond fields. Bengough never married and died in 1896 in Kimberley.
References: British Census (1881); Burke; DNB (Baker); Gentleman's Magazine (November 1860; December 1865); Maureen Rall, Petticoat Pioneers: The History of the Pioneer Women Who Lived on the Diamond Fields in the Early Years (2002); South Africa Magazine (31 October 1896)