Letter: Deirdre Le Faye obituary

Richard Harries
·1 min read

It might encourage some readers to know that Deirdre Le Faye’s great achievement in the field of Jane Austen studies was achieved despite the fact that she had to leave school at 16, her family not being able to afford any higher education, and that she had to earn a living with a full-time job as a British Museum administrator. More daunting is the fact that she had a photographic memory and powers of total recall. She once told me she had reviewed a book by an American scholar and noted more than 200 factual errors.

Before she turned to Jane Austen, Deirdre Le Faye did major research work on early child-rearing practices for Hugh Jolly, the paediatrician. Sadly he died before he was able to write it up, as did his doctor wife. So there is a valuable cache of clearly annotated and referenced material ready for a medical historian to write a valuable book on the subject. I can direct them to the material.