A Wise Woman - A Memoir of Lavinia Mynors from her Diaries and Letters
Edited by Alethea Hayter
Lavinia Sybil Mynors, daughter of Dr. Alington, headmaster of Eton and Dean of Durham, was born on 27th August, 1911 and died on her birthday, 83 years later. For most of her life she kept a diary, which ran to 6595 pages and in it she recorded not only her work as a medical student and hospital doctor during the blitz but her observations of the academic and political worlds with which her husband, Professor Roger Mynors and her brother-in-law Sir Alec Douglas-Home brought her into contact. Her wit, observation, memory for dialogue and taste for the oddities of language make these diaries and letters - selected and arranged by Alethea Hayter, a friend since their undergraduate days - a delightful portrait of a wise woman and her times.
In her old age...Lavinia's diary entries recorded the decline of her own faculties without a hint of self pity; and demonstrated that she was not only the 'Wise Woman' of the title but also a woman of exceptional courage. A further edition of her diary would surely establish her among the most admired of English diarists.
Caroline Bingham Times Literary Supplement
320pp, hardback, illustrated £20