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May Wedderburn Cannan

1893–1973

May Wedderburn Cannan was born in Oxford, England, on October 14, 1893. She attended school in Kent before joining the Oxford’s branch of the Red Cross Voluntary Aid Detachment in 1911. After World War I began, she volunteered at the railway canteen in Rouen, France. Cannan published her first collection of poetry, In War Time (Blackwell), in 1917. She went on to publish The House of Hope (Humphrey Milford, 1923) and The Splendid Days (Blackwell, 1919), as well as a novel, The Lonely Generation (Hutchinson, 1934). An autobiography, Grey Ghosts and Voices (Roundwood Press, 1976), was published posthumously. Canaan returned to England for financial reasons before the war was over. She worked at the Oxford University Press and for the War Office in Paris before serving as an assistant editor of Oxford Magazine. In 1924 she married Percival J. Slater, and they kept a small farm in Staffordshire. She died in 1973.

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