By Patricia Hollis
First released in 1997, Patricia Hollis's biography of the pioneering Labour MP Jennie Lee (1904-1988) received either the Wolfson background Prize and the Orwell Prize. it's the definitive research of this outstanding girl, her stormy political profession, and her marriage to Aneurin Bevan. In a brand new preface to this variation Hollis provides insights into Lee's lifestyles which emerged next to first booklet, and likewise attracts on her personal event as a Labour Minister from 1997-2005.
'Lee's lives and loves, passions and drives are fantastically and admittedly explored in Patricia Hollis's compelling book.' THES
'Superbly researched, engrossingly written, scrupulously honest.' Gerald Kaufman, day-by-day Telegraph
'What makes it quite attention-grabbing is the author's personal first-hand wisdom of politics and of the Labour movement.' TLS
'One of the easiest political biographies of modern years' Alan Watkins, New Statesman
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Extra resources for Jennie Lee: A Life
Once they met, she used to be by means of some distance the higher identified. by way of leaving the Labour social gathering with the ILP, notwithstanding, her profession used to be sidelined simply as his celebrity used to be emerging. Says Michael Foot in Loyalists and Loners (1986), each one of them had an unending ability for entertainment, a fierce ego, an entire dose of ambition, satisfaction and vanity … The ruling ardour with either one of them was once the way in which they can serve no longer the celebration that they had joined however the move within which they have been either born, their very own flesh and blood. right here, evidently, they knew the way to toughen each other. Nye had throughout the conflict remained open air the coalition executive, dealing with abuse as he attempted to carry Churchill to parliamentary account. Jennie got here to work out in Nye the chief of Labour’s Left. The struggle made Nye; it additionally made their marriage. while Jennie re-entered the Commons in 1945, she did not carve out a political profession of her personal. She had misplaced the shining self belief of her early life. in its place, she dedicated her energies to Nye as he fought to set up the NHS within the overdue Forties and to disestablish Hugh Gaitskell within the Fifties. Jennie grew to become the darkish angel at Nye’s shoulder, continuously pulling him clear of compromise, constantly tugging him into competition, as he bid to develop into chief of the Labour get together. Jennie selected to submerge her political lifestyles in Nye’s, at very enormous expense to her personal healthiness. She provided Nye her help with affection and generosity and he bought it with tenderness and style. Theirs used to be a striking political marriage, loving and trusting, however the bills have been all Jennie’s, the comforts all Nye’s. Jennie’s suppression of her personal occupation was once the extra awesome accurately simply because as a girl in politics she had continually laid declare to a ‘male’ existence, public, itinerant, and unencumbered through kinfolk obligations. It used to be a feminism of a sort—she continuously walked out of dinner events that anticipated the women to withdraw because the port circulated—but not like different ladies MPs she used to be by no means a sister, by no means pointed out with women’s matters, for they have been inappropriate to her conflict with capitalism. Nye’s untimely demise in 1960 broke Jennie. She used to be rescued by means of Harold Wilson who in 1964 gave her a ministerial task, the ultimate storyline within the biography. by way of civil carrier criteria she was once a bad Minister; but, due to her shut buddy Arnold Goodman, Jennie turned the 1st and most interesting Minister for the humanities. while Jennie went to a play, the viewers may applaud her as she took her seat. At Wilson’s request she abo introduced the Open collage, one of many amazing achievements of his management. She drove it via opposed to nearly common hostility via steely political will. In her spare time, Jennie got a son, a lover, and enterprise neighbors, yet in 1970 misplaced Cannock. So Wilson despatched her to the Lords the place she loved a few golden ultimate years. the humanities task in a feeling had depoliticized her; the dissenter had come within. She died in November 1988, gallant, feisty, and most unlikely to the tip. In 1989, a couple of months after Jennie’s dying, i used to be invited through Arnold Goodman and Michael Foot to write down her biography.