Development & Alumni Relations Office 

Anne Doughty, BA Geography 1961 (died 16 December 2018, aged 79)

Extract from 3 articles in Belfast Telegraph

The writer had suffered from heart-related problems for many years.

Anne grew up in Armagh and studied at Queen's University, Belfast. After she graduated she became a geography teacher and worked in Princess Gardens Grammar School and then Bloomfield Collegiate for 10 years before meeting her husband, Peter. He was also a teacher and the couple settled in Hampstead close to his job in University College, London in 1970.

In her first years in England, Anne became interested in reading Irish history. She left just as the Troubles were erupting and when she started to write she felt she wanted to show a different side of life in the province from that which was being portrayed on the news because of the violence.

Without realising it, she was carving a niche for herself as an Irish historical novelist.

They returned to live in Belfast in 1998 after the Good Friday Agreement was signed.

Anne had been writing since she was four years old and it was Peter who encouraged her to pursue her dream to become a novelist.

Even when the rejection letters kept coming he was her greatest motivator and Anne continued to write for 23 years before she finally got a publishing deal.

She is renowned for her popular Hamilton series of historical Irish novels, the first of which, A Few Late Roses was listed for the Irish Times Fiction Award.

Anne said Peter's influence was with her throughout: "He always said everything he had was mine and he taught me about the importance of research, about using my own experience, my love for Ulster and my home county of Armagh, which are all in the book.

After losing her husband, she coped with her grief by throwing herself into her writing and finished her novel The Blacksmith’s Wife, which she and her husband had discussed before his death. Her last book, The Girl from Galloway, was published last year and will be available in paperback from 16 May 2019.

Anne said in October 2018 that her motivation for writing came from her desire to show the world that there was much more to her homeland than sectarian conflict.

She said: "I'm really not interested in the money.      

"I only ever wanted to get my stories out and the message that there is more to our history than the Troubles.

"My writing is about presenting Irish history in a way that people can make up their own minds about it."

The couple had no children but were surrounded by the love of their adopted family of 12 godchildren.

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