Thoughts on While it is yet Day

“Averil Douglas Opperman has written a heart warming and intimate book focusing on the wonder that was Elizabeth Fry as woman, wife, mother, friend, prison reformer, and deeply spiritual servant of God. There have been many books written about “Betsy” (as she was known to her family), but this book, as the author states, seeks to keep her wonderful story light as a means to appeal to young people.

This book is sympathetically written and brings the humble humanity of Elizabeth to life: passionate, sometimes fearful – but always faithful, and forever compassionate. There is no doubt that the reader is left basking in the warm after-glow of the power of human kindness. This work is a privileged insight into the life of a unique and truly remarkable person.”

Jane Nairn

Prison Volunteer, Fine Cell Work

“The story of a fascinating woman, told with great warmth and verve. I thoroughly enjoyed this deftly written book and highly recommend it.”

Paula Brackston


“…it’s a remarkable achievement. It is, I suppose, your subtle weaving of the many strands in her life, some almost contradicting others, which in fact come together as a single whole. I think it was Orpen, invited to do the official painting of Lang, who said: ‘I see seven archbishops, which one shall I paint?’ My feeling [though it is presumptuous of me to venture it] is that there might have been seven Elizabeth Frys, but that you’ve made clear their diversity and complexity and at the same time shown how her personality brought them into a unity. Thank you and bless you for it.”

Ted Milligan

Quaker historian

‘Fascinating and inspirational…A warm, affectionate and very human biography’

Lancashire Evening Post

The Lady magazine’s Book of the Week

“This thought-provoking and beautifully written book celebrates Fry’s selfless life, 170 years after her death. With poverty, homelessness and desperation rising, the world could do with more of her kind.”

Rebecca Wallersteiner

The Lady Magazine

“Averil Douglas Opperman’s new book on Elizabeth Fry is a timely reminder of the enduring influence of this pioneering prison reformer, providing some intriguing new insight into her Quaker family life and vividly bringing to life her determination to improve the lot of others less fortunate. This well-written and very readable account reflects the author’s affection for her subject as well as conveying Elizabeth Fry’s humanitarian work and her part in the fight for women’s rights.”

Jerry Johns

Polperro Press

“Mother, wife and dedicated social reformer: a remarkable woman is brought vividly to life in this timely and engrossing biography.”

Kate Beaufoy


“Elizabeth Fry’s name was in my consciousness before I picked up this book, but now it is strongly front of mind. I have an interest in most matters historical, and a curiosity about Quakers, probably brought about by visits to places like Ironbridge, and stately homes, where I had some insight in to the doings and deeds of eminent Quaker families. While it is yet Day has given me a more detailed understanding of the sentiments and practical behaviour of this notable Quaker lady. The book intersperses diary quotes with narrative by Averil Douglas Opperman, keeping its style punchy and very readable, and letting us hear the voice of Elizabeth Fry herself.”

“As a member of a Book Club, we’ve discussed the merits of the features of a book that we like, and for myself, I love a book with a family tree for reference – and this one has two! – and picture plates at the centre.”

G Bullock

Amazon reviewer

“In this lively and engaging account of the life and work of Elizabeth Fry, Averil Douglas Opperman reminds us that Fry’s achievements were born of an unshakable determination to relieve suffering wherever she found it”

Artemis Cooper


“An engaging biography which breathes life into a woman who remains, for many, in the shadows of history. Excerpts from personal diaries and letters offer us a beautifully written account of Elizabeth Fry; mother, wife and dedicated social reformer. An intriguing blend of history and drama, it invites us to step into Elizabeth’s Quaker world to experience her innermost hopes and fears, her moments of supreme triumph and her days of utter despair. Readers cannot fail to be inspired by Mrs Fry’s courage and conviction.”

Anne O'Brien


“A real insight into…how she lived her life and how her legacy lives on”

Norwich Evening News