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PRASANNAMOYEE DEVI (1857-1939)


Prasannamoyee Devi was a Bengali poet and writer, and one of the earliest female memoirists. She was also the mother of Priyambada Devi (q.v.). Her father Durgadas Chaudhury was a Brahmo and a senior government official with a transferable job. Her family was well connected and her brothers Ashutosh Chaudhury and Pramatha Chaudhury were littérateurs and sympathizers of the freedom movement. Prasannamoyee published her first book of poems, Adh-Adh Bhashini, at the age of twelve. She was married to a wealthy zamindar and kulin Brahmin of Pabna in what is now Bangladesh: Krishna Kumar Bagchi. However, Prasannamoyee refused to live with him in his rural home. After her daughter was born she lived mostly with her father and brothers and their house was frequented by many of the Tagores and other cultural worthies of the time. Prasannamoyee wrote regularly in prestigious journals such as Matri Mandir and Bharatbarsha. Her novel Ashok is set during the time of the War of 1857. She published Banalata and Niharika, both collections of poems, and a memoir titled Purbakatha.
 
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