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Discrete CollectionsThe Women's Library
TitleFurlong, Miss E re Kathleen Courtney
Ref No8SUF/B/134
Box Fetch NoBox 1: Disc 28
Date10 Mar 1977
Extent134a- 29:21 mins; 134b- 32:50 mins
Admin Biographical HistorySee biographies for Elisabeth Furlong and Courtney; Dame; Kathleen D'Olier (1878-1974); internationalist and feminist
DescriptionInterview took place at Flat 42, 5 Sloane Court East, London SW3. The interview is in two parts: 134a and 134b.

0:00 mins:
First cousin once removed of Dame Kathleen Courtney. Impression of Courtney family as emotionally repressed with strong sense of public duty. Related to the Manns on her mother's side. Father's possible breakdown. Brother died young from tuberculosis in the army. Entrance exam for Lady Margaret Hall very easy. Schooldays in London. Lack of political ambition. Always kept in close touch with her family. Formative years at Lady Margaret Hall and influence of Agnes Maude Royden. Instilled with strong sense of public duty and social service. Shared house in Hampstead with Dr Hilda Clark, Edith Pye and Edith Eckhart before the First World War and then a house in Kent at the beginning of the War. Disarmament work in Geneva in 1933. Philip Noel Baker's great enthusiasm and energy. Her logical mind and strong public speaking skills. Speaks to women's organisations and branches of the League of Nations Union.

15:00 mins:
Problems with housekeepers and servants in old age. Austere attitude towards food, alcohol and personal possessions, although interested in clothes and fashion. Visits Jamaica aged ninety. Tendency to hoard papers and files. Lack of worldliness and shocked by modern 'permissive' society. Relationship with her extended family. Propensity to worry. Relationship with her housekeeper, domestic skills and attitude towards housekeeping. Private income from father's property in Ireland. Left money in will to Lady Margaret Hall.

0:00 mins:
Courtney's old age. Wish to be cremated. Breaks hip and refuses to pay surgeon's bill. Attitude towards her health and relationship with doctor. Relationship with house cleaner. Liking for processed foods. Goes on lecture tours in American during the Second World War for the Ministry of Information. Tours Australia and New Zealand. Life-long love of travel and walking. Knocked down by a car in Chelsea in her nineties. Illness in months before her death. Interviewed by the BBC for a series on life in Victorian times. Attitudes towards the working class. Pride in her father's military background.

15:00 mins:
Reading habits. Holidays with friend Freda White in France and England. Increasingly jingoistic in older age. Holidays in youth to Switzerland and Dartmoor. Her unusual combination of sweetness and forcefulness. Ability to inspire fear in others. Christmas spent at the University Women's Club. Lack of religious faith. Avid letter-writing.

30:00 mins:
Correspondence with American women and friends in Belgium. Speaks for Philip Noel Baker at by-election in 1936. Liberal tendencies in politics.
Access StatusOpen
Access ConditionsInterview recordings are available online and can be accessed at the link provided in this record.
Former Reference NumberTape 48
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