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 lady, her stormy political occupation, and her marriage to Aneurin Bevan. In a brand new preface to this version Hollis provides insights into Lee's lifestyles which emerged next to first booklet, and in addition 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 contemporary years' Alan Watkins, New Statesman
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Additional resources for Jennie Lee: A Life
Hated and suspect although he was once, because the battle proceeded, he used to be additionally grudgingly revered. He entered the warfare disregarded as a demagogic left-wing back-bencher, a cur snapping at Churchill’s heels who could be kicked into docility. Stafford Cripps, together with his towering integrity and austere independence, was once Labour’s chief in exile, no longer Nye. but Nye ended the warfare as one of many few males who had the degree of Churchill and the mastery of Parliament. The day-by-day Mail caricature, which Jennie reproduced in My lifestyles with Nye—showing immense figures, Churchill and Bevan, muscling as much as one another around the ground of the Commons, the remainder of the benches crammed by means of males of small stature—conveyed all of it. Nye was once now not fairly on my own in holding the correct of democratic competition alive at Westminster, in insisting that there have been different voices to be heard than Churchill’s, that Churchill was once no longer above feedback. He had the aid of a handful of MPs, together with Manny Shinwell, Dick Stokes, and Sydney Silverman. however it was once Nye who carried it, he who led the Left. It used to be lonely, it was once painful, and it took tremendous braveness. Jennie’s aid by no means wavered. She and Nye walked domestic one evening from dinner overdue in 1942, while even Nye’s personal Welsh comrades seemed him as a failure, whilst he was once being cold-shouldered by means of Labour MPs, and will count number his Westminster pals (mainly Liberals) on one hand. Nye became to Jennie in excessive spirits asserting: ‘I suppose secure. Do you recognize that? i believe safe—for the 1st time in my lifestyles. i will be able to do totally what i select to do. not anyone can damage me now. that's what you've performed for me. ’ She had married Nye in 1934, nonetheless at the rebound from Frank. ‘It took him decades to make sure of me, that is simply as well’, she wrote to Trevelyan. ‘He has the certainties now whilst he such a lot wishes them. i might by no means dream of telling him in such a lot of phrases that i believe happy with him, yet he is familiar with I solely approve. ’54 whilst she married him, she was once through some distance the higher recognized of the 2. She got here through the battle to achieve that Nye’s contribution to the Labour circulate used to be probably a ways more than something she may possibly give a contribution. He was once greater than her associate and comrade. As Cripps’s attractiveness waned, Nye’s grew. It used to be Nye she observed as prime the occasion within the kingdom, merely Nye who had no longer been infected via the compromises of coalition, Nye who used to be already delineating the contours of the peace. He took every little thing that was once thrown at him. Jennie, no coward herself, chanced on his energy and braveness remarkable. Seven or 8 years into their marriage, she came across herself in love along with her husband. The struggle not just made Nye the chief of the Left; it additionally made their marriage. Nye used to be frequently on his personal while he criticized the behavior of the conflict. He had extra allies whilst, on a sequence of matters from pensions to kin skill assessments, he criticized the government’s failure of household imaginative and prescient. The defining factor used to be the Beveridge record of December 1942. fifty five Nye used to be no longer a member of the most important policy-forming our bodies in the wartime Labour occasion which, led via Harold Laski at delivery residence, have been constructing the commercial and social schedule for the 1945 Labour executive.