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Barbara Wootton has lived in many worlds. She has been a University Professor, a Governor of the BBC, a member of several Royal Commissions and a Justice of the Peace for more than forty years, and was one of the first women to be admitted to the House of Lords and the first to sit on the Woolsack as one of the House's Deputy Speakers; and she has written a number of seminal books on social questions.
In the first part of this book she tells the story of her life, and in the second part she gives her reflections as a woman, an agnostic and a socialist on her experience in these various spheres. Thus the first part retells very movingly the story of the generation which was projected out of school or university into the First World War and which survived to rebuild life in a world quite different from what it had been brought up to expect.
The second part describes the often humorous experiences of a woman in our public life, which still somewhat naively only makes provision for the convenience of men. The whole book is imbued with the compassion born of many years in the Juvenile Court and of a lifelong concern for social justice. It is written with all the author's usual vigour and lucidity.
Barbara Wootton's book will immediately appeal to the many to whom she is familiar in one of her varied public spheres but it will also endure as a commentary on our times and as an informed, incisive survey of a number of our own institutions.