Free, Ann Cottrell

About the author

Ann Cottrell Free (1916–2004) was an author, journalist and poet; a phenomenal woman, she was a pioneering journalist, who raised public awareness of animal suffering and environmental damage.

Born in Richmond, she was educated at Barnard College. In 1936, while still at college, she started work on the Richmond Times Dispatch. She was hired by Newsweek magazine, and then became the first full time woman correspondent for Newsweek magazine, the Chicago Sun and the New York Herald Tribune. During the war, she reported on Pearl Harbour and women in the armed forces. After the war, she was a special correspondent in China. In the late 1950s, she started to write about animal protection, her work helping to mobilise support for the Humane Slaughter and Animal Welfare Acts. In 1963, she received the Animal Welfare Institute’s Albert Schweitzer Medal for her work.

She helped and supported the marine biologist Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, and herself wrote widely on pollution. After Rachel Carson died, Ann launched a campaign to establish the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge in Maine.

Ann Cottrell Free wrote one children’s book: Forever the Wild Mare. Helen A Monsell, in a review of the book in the Richmond Times Dispatch, said:

For horse lovers, be they boys or girls, this is a must. For the smaller group of camel lovers it will also be delightful reading. Moreover, if you like Scotsmen, Buddhist lamas, United States Senators, delinquent boys or moral lessons – such here you’ll find. The fact is that, with the prodigality of the beginner in the children’s field, the author has crammed enough themes, history, characters and ‘moralitez’ into one book to provide fodder for a whole bookshelf.

Finding the book
This book is reasonably easy to find in the USA, though very good copies of the first edition can tend be expensive. The book was not printed in the UK. It is now available as an ebook.

Links and sources
Terri A. Wear: Horse Stories, an Annotated Bibliography, Scarecrow Press, 1987
A website about Ann Cottrell Free
Obituary, Boston Globe, October 31, 2004 (no longer accessible)

Bibliography (horse books only)

Forever the Wild Mare

Dodd, Mead, New York, 1963, 178 pp, illus Sam Savitt
Flying Fox Press, 2005

Now available as an ebook

Jebby Andrews is a high school student who seeks something of his countryside upbringing in Shenendoah by befriending the wild Mongolian mare at the city zoo. Jebby wants to free the mare, and ride her, despite warnings from a Tibetan lama and an explorer-ecologist. Despite the warnings, Jebby keeps on trying to achieve his goals.