Achieving a Goal
LifeBook Memoirs editor Ben Creeth shares his experience of working on another of his favourite projects.
The variety in the books we publish never ceases to amaze us here at LifeBook Memoirs, and this is particularly true with an author such as Margaret Dunton.
Starting work as the secretary to the secretary of a businessman, Margaret soon carved out a truly remarkable career. When she transferred to Thomas Boyd White solicitors in the aftermath of the Second World War, Margaret realised that solicitors were in short supply, with many men still abroad, and some allowances might be made for women. Having identified a unique situation, Margaret took advantage and was able to study law part time as she continued her secretarial work. Six years later, she qualified as a solicitor in her own right.
Over the succeeding decades, Margaret worked in property law and criminal law. The cases and the clients Margaret encountered provided some of the most memorable sections of her book for her interviewer, ghostwriter and editor. In addition to these demands, Margaret faced the inevitable sexism of a male-dominated environment, but she thrived nevertheless. By the end of her working career, she was running the Thomas Boyd White firm.
A LifeBook can explore many facets of a life, and Margaret’s autobiography contains far more than just her career. Perhaps its most thrilling chapter focuses on her adventures flying aeroplanes, driving impressive cars and travelling across the world. For the readers of a LifeBook, it is often invaluable to receive a first-hand account of travel in days gone by. Margaret travelled across East Africa, India and the Middle East before they became popular tourist destinations, and her descriptions of how such places have changed provide invaluable insights for her family and friends.
A LifeBook is a gift to its readers, but a book can also impart wisdom. Margaret’s final chapter, ‘Lessons from the Past’, explores how times have changed over the course of her life and what her readers might learn from the things she has experienced. In Margaret’s own words, “We can learn so much from history, if we allow ourselves.”
Finally, Margaret has used her LifeBook to pay tribute to the people who have been most important in her life. She credits her parents with allowing her to forge her own path, she acknowledges the professional relationships which bolstered her career, and she wishes good fortune to her granddaughter, who was inspired by Margaret to become a lawyer herself. Achieving a Goal is a riveting read from start to finish, and a testament to a truly extraordinary life.
Written by Ben Creeth, LifeBook Memoirs editor
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