The First Lady Of Fleet Street

Born in India, brought up in England and disowned by her family for her beliefs, Rachel Beer was the first female editor of a newspaper at a time when women didn’t even have the vote.

Her remarkable story as editor of two of the most celebrated newspapers (The Observer and The Times) and plight of being a successful woman in the late 19th century can be read in “The First Lady of Fleet Street” by Yehuda Koren and Eilat Negev.

Rachel was regarded as both a rebel and a pioneer. Despite being excluded out of London clubs that fed her male journalists with political gossip and the press gallery at the House of Commons, Rachel Beer still became a formidable voice on national and international politics. She took a controversial stance on social and womens issues and managed to run two national newspapers simultaneously maintaining the individual personality of both.

Personally, her marriage to Frederick Beer which has doubled her wealth also brought her strife. Once he died after a long suffering illness, Rachel’s family swarmed in and had her certified as mentally ill, protecting their inheritance from Rachel’s social passions.

Following on from Rachel Beer, in 1904, the Daily Mirror hired a female editor. However, it wasn’t until 1987 before a national newspaper hired a female editor again. Today women make up less than a third of the newspaper industry in the UK.

I cannot wait to receive my copy of this book and read the story of Rachel Beer.

Bunty

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One Comment to “The First Lady Of Fleet Street”

  1. Women are still under-represented but it does look like a good read, will try to get a copy too.

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