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Edna Healey

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Edna May Healey, Baroness Healey (née Edmunds; 14 June 1918 – 21 July 2010) was a British writer, lecturer and filmmaker.

Life and career[edit]

Edna May Edmunds was born in the Forest of Dean and educated at Bells Grammar School, Coleford, Gloucestershire, where she was the first pupil to gain a place at Oxford University. Her father, Edward Edmunds, was a crane driver who threatened her that failing to apply herself to reading would leave her working in a pin factory.[1] While studying English at St Hugh's College she met Denis Healey, who was studying at Balliol College. She then trained as a teacher and married Healey in 1945 after his military service in World War II.[2] She became Baroness Healey in 1992 when her husband received a life peerage.

Though she began her writing career relatively late in life, her books were critically acclaimed and sometimes best-sellers. She wrote non-fiction books, often biographies of successful women in powerful positions.[3] Lady Healey also made two award-winning television documentaries.[4]

She was elected in 1993 a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature[5]


Edna Healey has one entry in the 8th Edition of The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations where she says of Margaret Thatcher, "She has no hinterland; in particular she has no sense of history."[6][7]


She died on 21 July 2010, aged 92. She was survived by Lord Healey, her husband of 65 years, three children and four grandchildren.[8]



  • Mrs Livingstone, I Presume (1982)
  • One More River, the Life of Mary Slessor in Nigeria (1984)


  1. ^ "Edna Healey obituary". TheGuardian.com. 22 July 2010.
  2. ^ Obituary in The Times, 24 July 2010
  3. ^ Denis Healey's wife, Edna, dies aged 92
  4. ^ Edna Healey, author, film-maker and Denis's wife, dies at 92
  5. ^ "Royal Society of Literature All Fellows". Royal Society of Literature. Archived from the original on 5 March 2010. Retrieved 9 August 2010.
  6. ^ The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations. 8th Edition. Page 374
  7. ^ "The Time of My Life" (1989) by Denis Healey
  8. ^ The Courier and Advertiser obituary, 24 July 2010

External links[edit]