OUT OF PRINT
Length 230 pages
Ask Me No More: An Autobiography
Born in 1914 into a family of upper-middle class public servants, Jenifer Hart has spent a lifetime shunning conventional morality and pursuing her love of justice and the rational.
Having spent her childhood in Paris, where her father worked on the Reparations Commission, she was later educated at Downe House and Oxford. Many of her friends worked at the League of Nations and Jenifer found herself immersed in the optimism that characterised the early days of the League. Throughout her adolescence she had been breaking away from her bourgeois background, later becoming a socialist and eventually, having witness the hardships of the 1930s, a communist.
Jenifer Hart passed the Civil Service exam with spectacular success in 1936 and joined the Home Office. Her descriptions of life in the Civil Service make one realise how much society has changed since then. Her war experiences were particularly rewarding, mainly because of the people she was friendly with, and we see in her descriptions life at its intellectual and bohemian best.
In 1947 Jenifer moved to Oxford to join her husband Herbert Hart (who was to become Professor of Jurisprudence and Principal of Brasenose College) and became a Fellow of St Anne’s College teaching Modern History and Politics. Family life forms the backdrop to her academic career and we follow her emotional development from her aspirations as a young woman to being a mother of four, with her last child born brain-damaged and requiring more love than had every been asked of Jenifer before. This is a very moving part of her life and completes the story of a woman whose life has spanned the twentieth century and whose concerns have been the main political and social ones of this century.
About Jenifer Hart
Jenifer Hart is the author of Proportional Representation: Critics of the British Electoral System 1820-1945 (Oxford University Press) and of The British Police (George Allen and Unwin). She has contributed articles to inter alia the English Historical Review, Past and Present, Public Law, Public Administration, and to the Commentaries on British Parliamentary Papers, published by the Irish University Press.
She lives in Oxford and Cornwall.