Jennie Lee was very important to C20 british labour politics - a real socialist firebrand who championed the miners, was one of the first female mps , worked on aircraft production with Beaverbrook during the war, was our first arts minister also founded the OU and had influence as the wife of Nye Bevan. This monumental biography is the biography she deserves and gives enough detail and manages to entertain along the way.It delineates her achievements in a clear way , also her many faults. It gives a fresh insight into labour politics in the middle years of the century.
This is a very interesting account of Jennie Lee's life, the Labour MP and minister who did much to democratise the arts in Britain and create The Open University. The book weaves the political history of the times into Lee's biography, including her marriage to Aneurin Bevan, which overshadowed her own political identity until he died and Lee, once recovered from her grief, joined Harold Wilson's government. It is not, however, a particularly sympathetic account of her socialist politics, personal life or treatment of other people. A scholarly and highly readable work.
Patricia Hollis' biography of Jennie Lee is a rare pleasure: stunningly written in sparse but fluid prose, it tells the story of a remarkable woman who came from a working-class mining background to storm the House of Commons as an MP at the ripe old age of 26. Hollis' account is written with real warmth for its subject and is meticulously researched. Yet the research never gets in the way of the narrative in what is a gripping and beautiful story. It's easy to see why Hollis scooped the Orwell Prize for her work. First rate.