In this issue of The Lady : Dear Readers,
Throughout history we have idealised
motherhood, yet for many women full-time
childcare can be exhausting and stressful.
While nannies used to be the exclusive
domain of the wealthy, the growth of women’s
employment has meant that for countless families a nanny is
often a non-negotiable necessity. If motherhood is the hardest
job in the world, then caring for someone else’s child is surely
the most important, and this week
we pay tribute to nannies, past and
present, who have wholeheartedly
devoted themselves to their charges.
Selfless devotion of another kind is found among those
expatriate Englishwomen living in Cyprus who care for
the island’s abandoned dogs at enormous personal cost.
Distinguished journalist Elinor Goodman met some of these
expats on a recent trip, and writes about their dedication and
the difficulties they face. It has been said that a litmus test of a
civilised society is the way in which it treats its animals – these
ladies represent an outpost of British civilisation to be proud of.
Another Englishwoman is celebrated in this edition. Born
in 1814, Georgiana Houghton was an artist and medium who
produced the most astonishing abstract watercolours in the firm
belief that her hand was guided by members of the spirit world,
ranging from deceased relatives to famous renaissance masters.
Whether or not spirits were involved, there is no doubt that
her hitherto forgotten works were remarkable – and rightly the
subject of renewed interest. I hope you agree.
Until next week,
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