Angel Dorothy

By Jane Brown

A new biography of the woman behind Dartington Hall, American heiress Dorothy Elmhirst

Friday, 25 September 2015

25th September, news on DOROTHY

My heroine keeps bursting through the news;  She loved her native America and Pope Francis's quiet utterance of 'the land of the free and the home of the brave' which moved his audience to tears and cheers has echoes from her patriot's life.   She lived her first 38 years there, and in 1924 when she decided to leave the country was sliding to the right and isolationism.   If Franklin Roosevelt's political progress had not been delayed by his polio for 8 years she would never have left, for she 'adored' him.

In the 30s she personally sponsored and housed nearly 100 artistes hounded from Nazi Germany.

In 1940, 75 years ago, her eldest son was flying in the Battle of Britain; he was shot down, imprisoned and eventually escaped but she - and other mothers and wives - went through a long agony of not knowing, simply silence. 

And on politics, she was of the liberal left;  Michael Young [later Lord Young of Dartington] was for years part of her extended family at Dartington, he wrote 2 election-winning Manifestos for Labout in 1945 and 1950 and she was influential on these.  Dorothy had always campaigned for education and trade unions, especially for working women, but she found the post-WW2 belligerence in industrial relations to be counter-productive.  Prime Minister's Questions would have appalled her!

Many, many thanks to those who are supporting DOROTHY, please tell your friends, best wishes, Jane.   

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