Ernest and Dollie Radford were both writers and were right at the heart of the bohemian, intellectual, creative, left-wing circles of english society from the 1880s onwards. In this picture she is seen wearing black fur, seated between William Morris's daughters with Morris himself standing behind and to the right. We don't know when or why she came to Somerset. Her poem here with its reference to 'people wise and free' reads like an invocation of a Morrisesque vision of the dawn of a new age in England where people would live lives of creativity and plenty in the beauty of the countryside.
In the Quantock Hills
HERE Autumn, like a flying bird
That through the quivering foliage trills,
Comes swiftly in the night, and stays
A moment in these grassy ways,
Among the hills.
And with the day’s awakened sun,
O’er every gold and purple mile,
A finer radiance shows where she
Folded her bright wings graciously,
To rest awhile.
Here all the earth is crystal clear,
And all its people wise and free,
Here where the orchards, each on each,
Run down the valley, till they reach
A crystal sea.
And here am I reading the poem for Darren Hayman's Thankful Villages project