|Wiggenhall St Germans lies on the
River Great Ouse -
five miles south of King's
The poet and novelist Ada Cambridge was born
here on November 21, 1844. She was the daughter of a
farmer called Henry Cambridge and spent her
childhood in the village.
St Germain's Church
In 1870 she married a missionary priest called George
Cross and they emigrated to Melbourne in Australia. It
took her a while to adapt to the heat and the isolation
of this new country.
She wrote 21 novels in total - many about heroines
who were trapped in unhappy marriages. The plots may
have reflected of her sense of frustration with her own
marriage. She stayed married to Cross for the whole of
her life but lost her faith when she was older.
collection of poems Unspoken
Thoughts was published in 1887 after having lived in
Australia for 17 years. Amongst the poems there is a moving
evocation of the watery landscape of the Wiggenhalls
that she had left behind. The poem is entitled Nightfall in the
Fens and in it she captures in great detail the wildlife of the area.
The poem has 22 verses and here are the first two: