Hesba Stretton

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Smith, Sarah [pseud. Hesba Stretton] (1832–1911), novelist and short-story writer, was born on 27 July 1832 at New Street, Wellington, Shropshire. She was the third daughter of the eight children (three sons died young; four daughters and one son lived to maturity) of Benjamin Smith (1793–1878), printer, bookseller, and the first postmaster of Wellington, and Anne Bakewell Smith (1798–1842), a strict and notably intelligent Methodist. Sarah and her elder sister Elizabeth attended the Old Hall, a girls' day school in Wellington, but gained most of their education from the books in their father's shop. Both qualified as governesses.