DURING more than 40 years of researching, lecturing and writing about local history, Pamela Hurle has examined and brought to light many interesting and neglected aspects of Malvern’s past, and she continues this tradition with her latest book, her 15th.

Previous titles include works such as Bygone Malvern, Upton: portrait of a Severnside town, Beneath the Malvern Hills: a history of the village of Welland and Malvern Girls’ College: a centenary history.

The new one is Malvern Women of Note, which the author describes as “the first book to look specifically at the considerable contribution made by women to the social, economic and cultural life of Malvern and, in some cases, much further afield”.

The book looks at the aristocratic women such as Lady Lyttelton, Lady Foley and Lady Howard de Walden, who had such a marked influence on Malvern’s development, and whose names still survive in buildings and paths.

But Mrs Hurle, of Storridge, near Malvern, also looks at women of less exalted status who played their part in the town’s history, such as the keepers of shops and boarding houses, and the women who tended the donkeys that took visitors up the hills and down again.

The pioneering headmistresses who founded schools such as the Abbey, St James’s, Lawnside and Malvern Girls’ College are also recognised.

Malvern has long been associated with the arts and culture, and writer Elizabeth Barrett Browning, painter Dame Laura Knight and singer Jenny Lind, the ‘Swedish nightingale’, who ended her days at Wynds Point, near British Camp, and is buried in the town.

The book is available from the publisher Aspect Design, Newtown Road, and is also obtainable from Malvern TIC, Great Malvern Priory, Malvern Book Cooperative, Ledbury Books and Maps and Upton Map Shop.