Kathleen Freeman (classicist)

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Kathleen Freeman (22 June 1897 – 21 February 1959) was a British classical scholar and (under the pseudonym Mary Fitt) author of detective novels. She was a Lecturer in Greek at the University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire, Cardiff between 1919 and 1946. From some time in the 1930s until her death Freeman lived with her friend Liliane Marie Catherine Clopet at Lark's Rise, a house in St Mellons (now a district of Cardiff).[1]

Early life, education and academic career[edit]

Kathleen Freeman was born at Yardley, Birmingham, and was the daughter of a commercial traveller (Charles H Freeman) and Catherine (Mawdesley). She attended the University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire, Cardiff, where she studied with Professor Gilbert Norwood. Following her graduation in 1918 (when she was awarded a BA), she remained there and was appointed Lecturer in Greek in 1919 and earned further degrees (MA 1922, DLitt 1940).[2]

During the Second World War Freeman delivered lectures on Greece to the Ministry of Information and in the National Scheme of Education for HM Forces in South Wales and Monmouthshire. She further contributed to the war effort with her selections of translations from Greek authors which featured in The Western Mail, a Cardiff-based newspaper. These were later published as the book, It Has All Happened Before: What the Greeks Thought of their Nazis (1941). Her publications Voices of Freedom (1943), What They Said at the Time: A Survey of the Causes of the Second World War (1945) and her work with the Philosophical Society of England, where she acted as Supervisor of Studies from 1948 to 1952, are further testimony to her desire to make Greek ideas accessible through translation. Freeman resigned from the university in 1946 in order to pursue her research and writing.[3]


  • 1926 The Work and Life of Solon, with a translation of his poems, Cardiff, University of Wales Press Board. OCLC 756460254
  • 1946 The Pre-Socratic Philosophers; a companion to Diels, Fragmente der Vorsokratiker, Oxford, Blackwell. OCLC 54961908
  • 1946 The Murder of Herodes and Other Trials from the Athenian law courts, London, MacDonald. OCLC 607833964
  • 1947 The Greek way: an Anthology. Translations from verse and prose, London, MacDonald. OCLC 577963906
  • 1947/48 Ancilla to the pre-Socratic philosophers: a complete translation of the fragments in Diels, Fragmente der Vorsokratiker, Oxford and Cambridge, Mass., Blackwell and Harvard University Press. OCLC 706866300
  • 1948 The Philoctetes of Sophocles, a modern version, London, Muller. OCLC 10111365
  • 1950 Greek city-states, London, Macdonald; New York, W.W. Norton. OCLC 654595269
  • 1952 God, Man and State. Greek concepts, London, Macdonald. OCLC 307525
  • 1954 The Paths of Justice, London, Lutterworth Press. OCLC 602389093
  • 1954 Everyday things in Ancient Greece, London, Batsford. A one-volume revision of Everyday Things in Homeric Greece, Everyday Things in Archaic Greece, and Everyday Things in Classical Greece by C. H. Quennell and Marjorie Quennel.l 1929-32. OCLC 401803
  • 1954 The Sophists. Translation of Mario Untersteiner, I sofisti, Oxford, Blackwell. OCLC 504343285

Fiction-writing career[edit]

Freeman enjoyed success as a writer of fiction and wrote under the pseudonyms Mary Fitt (1936–60), Stuart Mary Wick (1948; 1950), Clare St. Donat (1950) and Caroline Cory (1956).[4] In 1926, in addition to her study The Work and Life of Solon, Freeman published a collection of short stories The Intruder and Other Stories and her first novel Martin Hanner. A Comedy. In 1936 she chose the pseudonym Mary Fitt for her mysteries, writing 27 books and a number of short stories, many of which feature detective Inspector (later Superintendent) Mallett. She also wrote a number of children's stories and T'other Miss Austen (1956), a study of Jane Austen.[5]


  1. ^ For a brief note on Liliane Clopet, her career and her writings see Biography and bibliography by M. Eleanor Irwin and How to Conceal a Female Scholar; or, the Invisible Classicist of Cardiff by Edith Hall.
  2. ^ Irwin (2004), 343.
  3. ^ Irwin (2004), 343-4.
  4. ^ Irwin (2004), 344.
  5. ^ For a comprehensive list of Freeman's writings see Biography and bibliography by M. Eleanor Irwin.


  • Biography and bibliography by M. Eleanor Irwin
  • How to Conceal a Female Scholar; or, the Invisible Classicist of Cardiff by Edith Hall
  • Greene, W. C. (1949) 'Review: Pre-Socratic Philosophers Ancilla to the Pre-Socratic Philosophers: A Complete Translation of the Fragments in Diels by Kathleen Freeman', The Classical Journal,Vol. 45, No. 1 (Oct., 1949), pp. 53–4 JSTOR 3293307
  • Irwin, M. E. (2004) 'Freeman, Kathleen (1897-1959)', in Todd, R. B ed. (2004) The Dictionary of British Classicists. Volume I, A-F, Bristol: Thoemmes Continuum, pp. 343–4

External links[edit]

  • Ancilla to the Pre-Socratic Philosophers — Kathleen Freeman's complete translation of the fragments in Diels (Fifth Edition, B-fragments): Google Books, HTML