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Changing Women's Lives: A Biography of Dame Rosemary Murray by Alison Wilson (BA 1966)

3 October 2014

Alison Wilson's new biography of Dame Rosemary Murray explores her early life and provides a fascinating insight into her character.

Rosemary Murray (1913-2004) was the eldest of six children in a happy, talented and energetic family whose deeply-engrained attitude of service to the community she inherited. She studied chemistry at Oxford, becoming one of the first women at LMH to achieve a DPhil in science, and began an academic career as a lecturer at Royal Holloway College.

The charmed world of Rosemary's childhood and student days vanished abruptly with the outbreak of war. Enlisting in the Women's Royal Navy Service as a rating, she served from 1942-46, attaining the rank of Chief Officer. Post-war she was headhunted by Cambridge University as Demonstrator in Chemistry combined with a Lectureship at Girton College. There she became interested in women's education, witnessing the success of the long battle to allow women to take degrees and becoming a committee member of the Third Foundation Association, a movement to set up a third women's college. Eventually, when New Hall was started, she became its first Tutor-in-Charge, and later, President.

Professor Heather Glen, Emeritus Fellow, Murray Edwards College, says the book: '... gives a fascinating sense of a vanished world and shows Rosemary growing into the woman she became. A beautifully written biography that brings an enigmatic figure to life.'

The book can be purchased directly from Unicorn Press Ltd or other major book stores.