Catherine Farrar Campbell

Catherine Farrar Campbell

Catherine, the little girl in the centre  of this old family  photograph, was my mother’s  elder sister  (my mother, then still a baby, is seen  in her sister’s arms on the right). Catherine, alas, was to die of scarlet fever before she was seven. She was too young, perhaps, to dream, or at any rate to talk about her dreams, certainly to write them down. I cannot remember when I first felt the obligation to re-dream and then write them for her. Strange – and yet perhaps not so strange: we read of the inherited sense of family loyalty and that the capacity to dream is often transmitted down maternal line.

From that arose my first stories (‘dreamed’ as I call them though that is not quite the right word: more on that one day, perhaps,  in the Callender Newsletter [LINK TO SIGNUP PAGE HERE IF POSS PLEASE]. After my parents’ books they were among the first publications of the fledgling Callender Press , authored, as  I felt, by Catherine herself.

And that is why my first pen name (now reverted by my publisher’s urging to my usual Ruth Finnegan) was ‘Catherine Farrar’.

Her stories were revealed to me in a remarkable fashion: in dreams. I always felt  they were, and are, rightfully Catherine’s and should be attributed to her, hence the pen name. These formed the start, slow and tentative but not to be thwarted, of my unplanned  entry into fiction writing.

The recurrent theme, deep too in my mother’s life and writing, is of the centrality of love in human existence, and its power, like hollyhcks’to regenerate of itself and to combat, as we should, the most dragon-like of all opponents, even the force of Evil itself.




So in this way that little girl Catherine Farrar, she with the magical name of Catherine or Kate which resounds down the family, she too must be numbered among the remarkable female founders of the Callender Press.

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