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To Be A Woman: The Life of Jill Craigie

The cover of the ebook edition.  Jill Craigie did get to sit in this director’s chair, but my biography explains why her career was curtailed, and why she was not able to continuing sitting in that chair.

Jill Craigie-filmmaker, writer, pioneering feminist and devoted wife to former Labour Leader Michael Foot-led an extraordinary life. Strikingly attractive, fiercely independent and politically radical, Craigie established a reputation as a filmmaker with her 1944 film, Out of Chaos, becoming the first female director to gain national attention. Talented and versatile, she wrote several film scripts, numerous articles, radio plays, and successful columns, but she always struggled as a woman and a socialist in a male-dominated, conservative industry. Her fifty-year marriage to Michael Foot, the love of her life, involved her in politics at the highest level. The couple's mutual interest in literature and the arts made their Hampstead house a meeting place for artists, writers, actors, and politicians alike. Carl Rollyson has created an intimate and honest portrait of this charismatic figure, who never ceased to push the boundaries of what it meant to be a twentieth-century woman.

"One of the many strengths of this compelling biography is that it is an often painful account of what life was like for an ambitious and talented woman uninterested in living the traditional feminine role during a period when feminism was in a deep trough between the "two waves". It is thus an illuminating contribution to social history as well as a portrait of a fascinating woman and her milieu."
--Times Higher Education Supplement