Chin Up, Girls! by Katharine Ramsay
From the self-styled 'Queen of Soho' who sued BA, claiming to have been bitten on the bottom by a flea, to the butcher's daughter from Oldham who performed topless as 'the world's strongest woman' before becoming becoming the mistress of a peer whom she met while living in a Pyrennean mountain hut, this is a celebration of the women who refused to fulfil society's expectations. Their company includes the woman who survived four months adrift in a dinghy in the Pacific and the woman who played professional polo disguised as a man for fifteen years, as well as the inimitable Dame Barbara Cartland and Fanny Cradock. And there are over one hundred more.
This is the first time that the Daily Telegraph has dedicated a book to women's stories; very few of the women featured were 'celebrities', yet their stories represent a century of progress and change, capturing the spirit of those who came of age between Emancipation and the Equal Opportunities Act, whether high life or low life, pioneers or bluestockings.
Taking its title from the inspiring lines of a matron whose nurses faced a WWII firing squad, this is a fascinating portrayal of unforgettable and extraordinary characters united by their refusal to accept society's constraints.