A Woman of Vision — a Life of Marion Phillips, MP
The political impact of Marion Phillips (1881–1932) on the lives of working women and their families in the second and third decades of the twentieth century was immeasurable. Her crusade to free working-class wives from drudgery and to educate them to become independently minded individuals, resulted in a country-wide campaign that brought a quarter of a million housewives into the Labour Movement — 'the largest mass movement of working women that had yet been seen'.
She was a forceful and eloquent public speaker with a formidable intellect — 'the best brains of the lot' — according to a senior civil servant of the time. She was the Secretary of the Women's Labour League, Chief Woman Officer of the Labour Party and a Member of Parliament. Such was her influence on the Party hierarchy that, after her untimely death, no other woman was appointed to replace her.
Millions of mothers and children owe Marion Phillips a debt of gratitude for having established the first baby clinic in Britain and campaigning for the regular inspection and treatment of school children and improvements in housing and town planning.
A Woman of Vision is the first detailed biography of this remakable woman and no study of British politics in the early twentieth century can be thought of as complete without recognising the enormous contribution made by Dr Phillips. Without her relentless campaign to bring women into the political arena it is unlikely that the Labour Party would ever have won an election before the Second World War.
235pp, 149 x 210mm, softback, indexed
Marian Goronwy-Roberts was born in south Wales, the daughter of a musician father and a politically-minded mother. A First Class Honours graduate and Fellow of the University of Wales, Cardiff, she was for many years a part-time tutor in the Department of Continuing Education at the University of Wales, Bangor and a broadcaster and journalist. She is the author of a light-hearted Welsh novel, a prize winning short story, radio plays and children's TV stories.
A former magistrate and member of many public bodies, she served for ten years as Chairman of the BBC Wales Appeals Advisory Committee. Her husband, the late Lord Goronwy-Roberts, was for nearly thirty years the Labour Member of Parliament for Caernarfon and a long-serving Commonwealth Office Minister.