Several among the women of the Priestman-Bright circle chose to remain single. Anna Maria Priestman discussed her attitude to marriage in her letters to her cousin and lifelong friend, Jane Pease. When asked about any tendency to ‘amativeness’ in her own nature, she replied that she was not sure that she knew the meaning of the term. Certainly, she declared, she had never been much subject to ‘falling in love’. Though she admitted that her sympathies and affections ‘have often been pretty fully engaged on behalf of young gentlemen’, she believed she was still too young, in her early twenties, to give such a step any serious consideration. In addition, she would only want as a husband someone who ‘sincerely desired to be a follower of the Lamb’, and had yet to meet a young man that she considered truly pious. Some years later, she acknowledged having had some passing feelings for one who remained in her eyes ‘an interesting creature’. But now, she declared, ‘my heart is growing strong again in its maidenly independence – one charm was broken by telling of my folly! But perhaps the power to do so shewed the spell was weakened, poor fellow!’1