Wednesday, August 13, 2008

anyone still reading?

so i had a bit of a lapse re blogging. i'd like to make it up to you, so here are some links now to things i would have blogged if i had been blogging then:

first of all, obituaries of interesting and amazing women of whom you may not have heard ...

janet askham was a british sociologist who, latterly, had been concentrating on the social aspects of aging. the times quoted her as saying:

"“Ageing is both a social and biological phenomenon. One can start with the notion of when old age begins. There is no biological starting point: it is socially determined. People become old because they are defined as old — by the attitudes and behaviour of others and by laws, rules or policies.”"

pauline baynes was most well-known for her illustrations for works by tolkien and the narnia books. the grauniad wrote:

"Baynes went on to become one of the foremost children's book illustrators of the 20th century. Her highly designed style - witty, inventive and invariably bursting beyond the borders of the page - her strong sense of colour and line, and her careful attention to detail would become instantly recognisable. As for Narnia, despite other artists ringing the changes from time to time with the covers, sometimes disastrously, it is her classic line drawings which have remained an integral part of every subsequent edition of the series."

valerie bennett-levy was nosegay maker to the queen. when describing what she did during the war, the times noted:

"Much more an artist than a physicist, Bennett-Levy amused Sir Robert Watson-Watt, the man credited with Britain’s advances in radar development, when — as a member of a high-level delegation visiting her station — he heard her explaining her work thus: “Well, you twiddle this knob and that knob, and then this other knob, and . . .” He told her: “I’ve been trying to explain what I do to my secretary for years. Yours is the most unscientific explanation I’ve ever heard. I wonder if you’d come round and explain it to her.”"

evelyn keyes lived a far more interesting life off-screen than suellen o'hara, the part that she played in 'gone with the wind'. the guardian ends its description of her life with the following:

"A self-described "flaming liberal" who was once a "mush-minded bigot", the plain-speaking Keyes explained that having an abortion just before filming Gone With the Wind, left her unable to have children."

kathleen kinkade was a founder of a utopian commune near charlottesville, va. the ny times wrote:

"In 1964, while living in Los Angeles and working in a dead-end secretarial job, she read “Walden Two.” Skinner’s novel, about humans living in a hivelike egalitarian society, strikes many readers as bloodless and forbidding, but Ms. Kinkade responded ecstatically. She wrote to the author asking if such a community existed, and if she could join. She received no reply, concluded that there was no such community and decided to create one."

ann lambton was a scholar who specialised in the study of iran. the times said:

"All who knew Lambton respected her not only for her intelligence but also for her physical strength and endurance. She was a fine squash player and often beat students a great deal younger than her. She always cycled between SOAS and her flat in Maida Vale. In Iran and in Northumberland she was a tireless walker up the steepest of hills at a huge pace and she walked everywhere in Iran, besides travelling on horseback or camel."

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