Monday, August 13, 2007

More Family Matters...

A few weeks back, The Guardian published this excellent retrospective looking back at 50 years of the womens' page. I have to say it puzzled me a bit at the time, as whoever put it together seemed to be under the impression that the womens' page was only 50 years old and that iconic feminist Mary Stott was the page's first editor.

In fact, as I have known since my own childhood, they were wrong on both counts. The Guardian womens page - then called Mainly Women - was started in the early 1920s and its first editor was my great aunt, Madeline Linford, who continued in the role until she was succeeded by Stott in 1953.

What was especially odd about this omission was that the Guardian had not read its own cuttings. In 1971, it published an interview with Madeline in which she was clearly identified as the founder of the page. The interview was carried out by none other than Mary Stott.

Thankfully, there is no need for me to write a letter to the Guardian pointing out its error as my redoubtable aunt, Sylvia Michaelides, has already done so. Gratifyingly, the paper's former editor, Peter Preston, has also since written a column restoring Madeline to her rightful place in the paper's history.

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Tim Worstall said...


Another entry into our database of nepotism in it's all done by a hereditary caste!

Paul Linford said...


I know this is tongue-in-cheek, but for the charge of nepotism to stick I would have to have been given a job on the Guardian!

Anonymous said...

...and you'd have had to have been alive and of employable age in 1953 at the latest!

Greater Manchester Fabians said...

Hi Paul
I've linked to your blog on ours
I'd be really grateful if you could link to ours.
Graham W
Greater Manchester Fabians

MorrisOx said...

While I doubt the Guardian wa suffering selective amnesia, it is a pretty shocking omission.

Not the first, I'm afraid to say, and while I hate to lapse into the usual 'wasn't like this in my day' platitudes, its is more evidence that the paper suffers slapdash research and a short memory.

A past to be proud of, Paul.