AN AUTHOR'S debut book tells the tale of a former Salisbury resident.

Mary Ann Pelly (1901 - 1992) lived a life "full of adventures" according to author of the book and daughter, Sarah Lawley.

From exploring South Africa, New Zealand and Afghanistan, to marrying a British Officer in the Indian Army, Sarah wanted to share her mother's life story with the world, including her time in Salisbury as a teacher.

Woman of Empire is written as a biography, bursting with anecdotes from Ms Pelly's past, including her pretending to regularly take part in tennis matches while secretly heading to the capital city.

"You can imagine how furious her mother was," Sarah laughed.

Following her global travels, left widowed and disowned by her family, Ms Pelly's adventures continued as she became a teacher in Salisbury at South Wilts Grammar School, followed by teaching English at Salisbury College of Further Education in 1955.

A mother herself, the 77-year-old author said: "How she brought us up was amazing considering she had little money and was disinherited."

When asked why she wrote the book, Sarah said: "I wrote the book for my grandchildren really, to see that my mother was such fun, even if she had the most terribly funny comments.

"And I hope the audience will be like, 'Oh I remember Mrs Pelly' - you just won't get anyone like her.

"She was very valuable, she could get anyone through their O-Levels."

Sarah has already confirmed she wants to write her next book about her children, adding: "I think they may be a bit jealous they're not in this book."

Woman of Empire can be purchased from Sarum College Bookshop for £9.99.