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Phyllis Pearsall - Inventor of the A-Z 25 Sep 2006
Mrs Pearsall - Photograph courtesy of Geographers' A-Z Map Co. Ltd
Did you know that the A-Z was invented by a woman? Back in 1935, Phyllis Pearsall was invited to an evening party in Belgravia but try as she might, she couldn't find the location. It did give her the idea to design a street map for London. Working from her bed-sit near Victoria Station, she woke at 5am every day to trek the 23,000 streets of capital. In all, she walked an incredible 3,000 miles. The result was the first A-Z of London, published in 1936.

To commemorate the centenary of Phyllis Pearsall's birth, Jenni talks to her niece, Mary West, and to her biographer, Sarah Hartley, to find out more about her remarkable life and legacy.
 
Mrs P's Journey: The remarkable story of the woman who created the A-Z Map by Sarah Hartley, published by Simon & Schuster, 2002 - ISBN: 0-85039-243-8
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