Mary Webb was born at Leighton, Shropshire on March 25, 1881. Her family name was Meredith and in 1912 she married a school-master, Henry Bertram Webb. In 1914 Mr and Mrs Webb began work as market gardeners and sold their fruit and vegetables on a stall in the market place of Shrewsbury Town.
Marry Webb started journalistic work at an early age while living in Shrophsire. Her first novel The Golden Arrow was published in 1916. After that came The Spring of Joy. Gone to Earth, The House in Dormer Forest and Seven for a Secret. It was not, however, until 1924 when her best-selling Precious Bane appeared that she first attracted attention. It was awarded an important prize specially given annually for the best novels or verse descriptive of life in England, written by an author who had not yet acquired any outstanding success.
Stanley Baldwin, at that time Prime Minister of Britain, wrote an introduction to the book; and addressed it from No 10 Downing Street, London the residence of Britain’s Premier. The praise he deservedly lavished on the book in his introduction ensured its continuing popularity.
Sadly, Mary Webb did not live long to enjoy her well-known success. Her last took Armour Wherein He Trusted was Published in 1926 and she died at the height of her fame October 8, 1927. Her books excel in the vivid descriptions of the dour countryside of Shropshire and the Welsh Marches, threaded throughout by a certain wildness and fateful mystery. Precious Bane has been featured as a television serial and Gone to Earth was filmed in 1948.