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Nancy - in her own words written by Nancy Mottram, edited by Lisa Battye and published by Greenridges Press

Nancy - in her own words

Nancy Mottram

Edited by Lisa Battye

ISBN: 978-1-902019-17-8

168 pages, paperback, 146mm x 208mm.
2 B&W photographs

Published by Greenridges Press, December 2020.

Price: £ 7.00 UK Postage and Packing:

About the Book

This moving book is based on the prose and poetry of the late Nancy Mottram, who died in April 2020, aged 90, and has been edited by her daughter Lisa Battye. In it, the author looks back at her long life and its challenges, and describes how her attitudes were moulded by her Quaker faith and her commitment to the peace movement.

‘There is so much that goes to make up the stories of our lives’ wrote Nancy, in a brief Introduction to her autobiography. ‘I am 84 years old as I begin this story. There is still life of a sort to be lived. Whether this will get finished is altogether another matter…’

In Nancy’s notebook there follow many much-redacted, hand-written pages, divided up by reference to the places where she lived. Her account then fades out around 1969, with the words ‘The actual times of the [house-] moves are hazy for me now. (Continue later…)’

In the book you will find this partial work, plus other prose and accomplished poems that Nancy wrote over the course of her long life. She died on April 26th, 2020, a month after her 90th birthday.

About the Author

Nancy with husband Joe Mottram



Nancy was among the first women to receive an Exhibition (scholarship) and go to University; she was an early feminist; a woman of courage who chose divorce and single-parenthood before divorce grew easier; a ‘Greenham Common’ woman, who gained an MA at the age of 55 and was still breaking with convention at 75; a woman who found her life’s purpose in her chosen, Quaker faith.

She is pictured with her husband Joe Mottram, who died in 2001.

Who am I?

My beloved is captivated by my wit and humour,
my sensual capacity for passion.

My sweet friend calls me young and daft;
sees the free-wheeling wonder of my inner child.

My confidante knows the inconsistencies, complexities
and paradoxes of my totality.

My closest friends sigh and wonder who I am today;
despair at my negativity; laugh and wonder at my heights;
are irritated at my vagaries; and love my constancy.

Nancy Mottram 2008

About the Editor

Lisa Battye - Nancy's elder daughter and editor - serves as team vicar in the parish of St James & Emmanuel, Didsbury, is chaplain to St Mellitus College NW, honorary Canon of Manchester Cathedral and on the Church of England General Synod.

She says: Grieving for my mother, I planned to use my three-month Sabbatical shortly after her death to write up her story – in her own words, if I could. I wanted to make a record for my daughter, Miriam, and any others who might like to know, but chiefly for myself.

My decision to use ‘Mum’s own words’ was made before I read her ‘writings’, and has had a huge influence on how this book has grown. I have sifted through the 70,000 words I typed up from her ‘writings’ and her large folder of poems. Most of what follows is presented exactly as I found it, and dated wherever possible. Meanwhile, the privilege I’ve had of spending ‘extra’ months with my mother has been quite wonderful.

The book is both chronological and anthological, in different styles. It starts with autobiographical narrative, moves through a selection of Nancy’s articles, into journal entries from later life – a treasure trove of her inner thoughts.


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