Clare has written the biography of Eglantyne Jebb, the amazing woman who founded the Save the Children Fund in the early 1900s because she was outraged about the injustices being perpetrated against children.
Clare says that the idea for her book ‘The Woman Who Saved the Children: A Biography of Eglantyne Jebb, Founder of Save the Children’ came from her being nosy.
I had been working at the charity Save the Children and was poking around in their archives when I came across a crumpled leaflet shoved down the side of a plastic crate, which showed a photograph of a starving Austrian child at the end of the First World War.
In the top right-hand corner was the word ‘suppressed!’ pencilled in the unmistakable scratchy writing of Eglantyne Jebb, Save the Children’s founder. I could almost feel her indignation still burning through the paper. I knew then that I was on to a good story, but it took a few years before I realized I was going to write a book!
Clare says that she loved doing the research for the biography.
It is a funny thing to look for someone in the archives of public libraries or between the lines of private letters. My best moment with this book was finding a secret stash of very scandalous love letters… But then I love the actual writing too.
Clearly, Clare became completely immersed in her work when writing this book and she says that the hardest part was finding the time to write. She has three lively daughters aged 8,6 and 2 so it wasn’t easy for her to set aside the three days a week she needed to write ‘The Woman Who Saved the Children: A Biography of Eglantyne Jebb, Founder of Save the Children’
Clare’s interest was first piqued when she working at Save the Children and discovered that Eglantyne Jebb, the charity’s founder, had never really been very fond of children.
In fact she once called them ‘the little wretches’. I was fascinated – but it was only when I went on maternity leave (thereby showing much less commitment to the cause than Eglantyne, who never had children and dedicate herself to the charity), that I found the time to find out a little more. Obviously it became a bit ironic – me sneaking away from some of my childcare responsibilities to research the life of this children’s champion, who didn’t even like individual kids… but it turned out to be such a good story I was quickly hooked. And no one else had looked at it for 40 years.
Tomorrow Clare is coming back to DeeScribe Writing to be our special guest at Tuesday Writing Tips, telling us how she wrote ‘The Woman Who Saved the Children: A Biography of Eglantyne Jebb, Founder of Save the Children’.
Find out more about this fascinating book and why Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown called it ‘a truly brilliant book’, and the comedian Paul O’Grady said ‘pick up this book and be inspired…’
ALL AUTHOR ROYALTIES FROM THE BOOK ARE BEING DONATED TO THE CHARITY, ‘SAVE THE CHILDREN’.
Buy The Woman Who Saved the Children: A Biography of Eglantyne Jebb, Founder of Save the Childrenfrom any good bookstore or online at Boomerang Books