Scripted by Neil

Catharine writes:

Here is a delightful piece scripted by Neil for the back cover of the first edition of Polly. The fourth edition will be available shortly from Shoreline Press of Montreal

How in the world did Polly Noble, a bubbly little girl with freckles, born just outside Dromore in January 1837, live to become the subject of a biography published more than a century later in Toronto?

It was on her father’s farm, on the old Coach Road between Dromore and Enniskillen, that Polly spent an idyllic two years with her parents, George and Jane Noble. Then disaster struck. On January 6th, 1839 the Big Wind rose out of the sea and swept across Ireland, wailing like a thousand banshees. It flattened whole villages, burned down farmhouses, and finally killed her father. It changed Polly’s life forever.

Two years later, Polly’s mother Jane, married William Fleming, the handsome widower across the road at Bridgewater Farm. Soon Polly began to walk back and forth the mile or so to the one-room school run in Dromore by the Kildare Society.

But she also found time to plant potatoes, milk the cows, look after the goats, pull flax, chase the hens, and run bare-foot in the meadows.

Then disaster struck again. The potato crop failed. And famine and Typhus threatened Bridgewater Farm. Like thousands of others the Flemings decided they must escape.

Description by Neil McKenty for the first edition 2009

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