2 Jenny Grove: Redressing the Balance 2

3 by Ellen Hall 3

A delicate, oval-faced woman, Jenny does not look like a typical barrier-crashing militant. Nevertheless it was she who forced the Oxford Union to open its doors to women student debaters in 1961. Disguising themselves as men and tipping off the press, Jenny and a friend pushed their tweedy elbows into the debating chamber. She followed the press sensation with a letter campaign to support women’s entry. Eventually the men voted “Yes”!

Before starting out as a freelance journalist in 1988, Jenny worked for a firm of stockbrokers and later as a civil servant. She has written articles for the Times, Telegraph and Mail on Sunday, mostly on personal finance and financial scandals, sifting facts to show both sides of the story.

Growing up on the island of Jersey, she heard stories of the German occupation. Based on interviews with the people who lived through this period of requisition, rationing and imprisonment, she has written a series of long articles. What fascinates her is how individuals appeared to comply with regulations while sabotaging the enemy. Future projects may include a book of these “sweet revenges”.

Jenny always has a notebook in her handbag , so she can work anywhere, including the beach in front of the Port Vendres home she has shared with her poet husband for the past 20 years.

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