Katharine Whitehorn

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Sue Lawley's castaway this week is the journalist Katharine Whitehorn. Katharine Whitehorn was the first journalist to write a column about her personal and domestic life and draw broader truths from her experiences - it's the kind of material that is now commonly found on women's pages and is satirised in Private Eye's Polly Filler - but in the 1950s and 1960s it was a new phenomenon and she was its brightest and wittiest exponent.

She came to journalism through a circuitous route that took in Picture Post, Woman's Own and The Spectator, but it was on the Observer - where she worked for more than 30 years - that she really made her mark. She was at the vanguard of a generation of women who were told they could 'have it all' and she may even be the only one to have managed it - a successful, well-paid career, a happy marriage and complete family. While at the Picture Post she met Gavin Lyall - who went on to become a successful novelist - they had two sons and were married for 45 years until his death in 2002. She is now the agony aunt for Saga Magazine.

[Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs]

Favourite track: Slow movement of Double Violin Concerto by Johann Sebastian Bach
Book: A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
Luxury: A machine to distil whatever is there

Release date:

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Fri 6 May 2005 09:00


Role Contributor
PresenterSue Lawley
Interviewed GuestKatharine Whitehorn

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