Friday, 3 January 2014

Elizabeth Jane Howard

The passing of Elizabeth Jane Howard has been announced. Elizabeth was one of the small gang of individuals who helped Aickman and Rolt to found the Inland Waterways Association.

Robert Aickman was Elizabeth Howard's literary agent and Tom Rolt was the author of the 1944 classic Narrow Boat. Elizabeth described the early days of the IWA "I spent four days a week typing letters, paying in cheques from the members and going to meetings. At first it was uphill, or upstream, work but  both of them were good at writing letters. I didn't do shorthand, so Robert would speak slowly and I took it down on a big, heavy typewriter." The IWA bombarded MPs with letters and they in turn flooded the House of Commons with so many Parliamentary Questions about the waterways that the procedure for PQs was changed to restrict the torrent of submissions. Elizabeth, left after four years. She said "I wanted to do more writing and was fed up with Rolt and Aickman having rows. I wanted to get the hell out."  During this period she did a little modelling for Vogue. She later said "If you think writing is financially precarious, try being a model."
R.I.P Elizabeth.

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