Fabian Socialist, Social researcher and reformer, and cofounder of the London School of Economics, Beatrice Webb (1858-1943) was at the center of British intellectual and political life for nearly seventy years. Her diaries offer a remarkable record of her achievements, and they reveal the private face behind a formidable public persona. From age fifteen until her death, Webb confided in her diary. She describes her obsessive and self-thwarted passion for politician Joseph Chamberlain, her work as a young woman in London's East End, and the troubled courtship that led to her marriage and famous partnership with Sidney Webb. She tells of the books they wrote together and the people they knew -- Winston Churchill, Lloyd George, Ramsay MacDonald, Leonard and Virginia Woolf -- in pages rich in anecdote and insight. She describes their friendship with Bernard Shaw and despairs of H.G. Wells's peccadilloes. The Diaries chart the collapse of Liberalism and the rise of the Labour Movement, and set Beatrice Webb's faith in Social Communism against the growth of fascism in the 1930s. They encompass the Boer War and the devastation of two world wars, and bring to life the social and cultural changes that introduced the modern world. Alongside this record is an intensely moving account of a long life, of friendships and family, conviction, and self-doubt. From this unparalleled document emerges a woman whose shrewd judgement, skilled portraiture, and refreshingly ironic tone establish her as one of the greatest diarists of her time.
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Published April 19, 2001
Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel, War, Literature & Fiction.