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Friday, 14 March 2014

Was it Worth it?

Jennifer Worth as a midwife in the 50s





The late Jennifer Worth (pictured above) is famous for Call the Midwife but little seems to have been known about her early life until now.  Writing in the Daily Mail recently, journalist Jo Knowsley  explained ' Call the Midwife is a charming   mix of gritty poverty  - a world where people know their place, where uniformed matrons can cycle safely through dimly-lit slums and where, for the midwives at least, regulations must be obeyed...
'It will come as a surprise to her millions of fans that Jennifer, whose bestselling books inspired the (tv) series, was seldom one to follow the rules herself.'

Jennifer's 80-year-old husband, Phillip, who still lives in their 18th century home in Hemel Hempstead, admits that she had a very colourful life - including a year-long affair with a married an when she was just 16.

'In an act of great generosity, Philip painted the mystery lover from a photograph kept my his late wife,' says Knowsley.

Jennifer's eldest daughter Suzannah, 49, and her sister Juliette, 47, say their mother was driven to experience 'almost everything life had to offer.' She adds 'But my mother was an incredibly loyal person. When she made friends they were friends for life...'

Nursing was, surprisingly, a relatively small part of Jennifer's life. After she finished her training she moved to Paris to perfect her French, visiting concerts and galleries in her pursuit of knowledge before  returning to London to study midwifery.

Sadly, Jennifer died before the TV version of her book reached our screens. One of her last wishes, however, was that actress and comedian Miranda Hart should play Chummy.

Says Miranda, who fell in love with the character as she read the script, 'I knew I had to play the part. Sadly, I never got to meet Jennifer to thank her....'

2 comments:

Faith said...

I really enjoyed this series on the tv and felt it lived up to the book. I've also read In the Midst of Life - it makes you think about having a good death, or helping others to achieve this.

Guernsey Girl said...

I do so much agree with you, Faith. The book and the tv series were about real people who genuinely cared about each other... something that seems to be lacking in the world today. Thanks so much for your comment:)