What Glass ceiling - Thank You Rachel Beer

What Glass ceiling - Thank You Rachel Beer

from 45.00

Rachel Sassoon Beer   1858 – 1927

Rachel was the first female editor of a Fleet Street newspaper.
She was estranged from her family after marrying her husband Frederick Beer (Editor of The Observer)

She edited the Sunday Times and while her husband was unwell with Tuberculosis she also edited his paper too whilst nursing him.

After Frederick's death (1903) while grieving and suffering from exhaustion, she began to struggle running both papers her erratic behavior culminating in a collapse. Soon her colleagues and friends begin to worry about her.

Despite being estranged from her family through her choice to marry Frederick her friend & sister in law Teresa Sassoon contacted her brother (Joseph Sassoon) and he decided to hire a lunacy expert, one Dr Savage,

 Dr Savage was the same doctor who went on to treat Virginia Woolf a year later
 he ‘diagnosed’ Rachel after one interview, and at the age of 45 she was declared insane (by today’s standards she would not have received this diagnosis). 

Although Rachel subsequently recovered, she ‘required’ nursing care for the remainder of her life, she was not given the opportunity to appeal and just accepted the decision, such was her grief.
While she lived out her later years some of her family, namely her Nephew poet Siegfried Sassoon waited impatiently for his portion of her assets, as she had no children and her family were in trust of her estate we was well aware that he would benefit from her death.

She spent her final years at Chancellor House in Tunbridge Wells, where she died in 1927.

While she lived in Tunbridge wells she was involved in community projects and despite being stripped of her assets and the right to make a will by her brothers managed to make generous donations to support the Red Cross based in the parish of St Phillips.

The part that saddens me is that after her passing instead of following her wishes to be buried alongside the love of her life Frederick in The Julius Beer Mausoleum in Highgate Cemetery (now a grade two listed building) which might have kept her name alive, instead her family had her buried on unconsecrated ground in our local cemetery, her gravestone stating only ‘Daughter of David Sassoon’.

Despite editing the Sunday Times for ten years there was no mention made of her passing.

I am looking forward to exploring these and other local figures more in future works.

Created and released originally for a group exhibition in 2014

Available in A3, 16 x 24 Inch and 20 x 28 inch

The two larger sizes are printed outside of my studio so please allow up to 7 week days for these works to be printed to order. As I ease into selling larger works I will begin to amass stock so it’s always worth messaging me via the contact page if you’re in need of work by a specific date, if I can speed things up for you I will.

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HISTORIAL COLLAGE FLOATS MY BOAT!

I'm a big lover of social history, which still makes me chuckle because at school I really did not enjoy studying history at ALL!

I'm not sure when the shift happened but I can remember being invited to participate in a group show in 2014 that my friend was curating about Popular Icons and I began to look at my local history to see who had lived in my home town of Tunbridge Wells that I could use as inspiration while working with some of my long collected and much treasured vintage local postcards and I spotted some women who's names just jumped out at me so I began to look them up and before I knew it I had fallen down the rabbit hole. Through my research I realise that they had all made their own mark on Women's History and at that time I couldn't find much online celebrating them so I decided to thank them and make them my own Popular Icons. 

I had so much fun researching and creating those works and I'm very grateful that I fell down that rabbit hole because I have since started research folders on a growing number of inspiring women, I am excited to finally begin to celebrate their stories and to have this space to be able to share them with you all.

About This Work ( I will be adding more of my research to this listing soon)

Rachel Sassoon Beer   1858 – 1927

Rachel was the first female editor of a Fleet Street newspaper.
She was estranged from her family after marrying her husband Frederick Beer (Editor of The Observer)

She edited the Sunday Times and while her husband was unwell with Tuberculosis she also edited his paper too whilst nursing him.

After Frederick's death (1903) while grieving and suffering from exhaustion, she began to struggle running both papers her erratic behavior culminating in a collapse. Soon her colleagues and friends begin to worry about her.

Despite being estranged from her family through her choice to marry Frederick her friend & sister in law Teresa Sassoon contacted her brother (Joseph Sassoon) and he decided to hire a lunacy expert, one Dr Savage,

 (The same doctor who also certified Virginia Woolf a year later)
 , he ‘diagnosed’ her and after one interview at the age 

of 45 she was declared insane (by today’s standards she would not have received this diagnosis). 

 

Although Rachel subsequently recovered, she ‘required’ nursing care for the remainder of her life, she was not given the opportunity to appeal and just accepted the decision, such was her grief.
While she lived out her later years some of her family, namely her Nephew poet Siegfried Sassoon waited impatiently for his portion of her assets, as she had no children and her family were in trust of her estate we was well aware that he would benefit from her death.

 

She spent her final years at Chancellor House in Tunbridge Wells, where she died in 1927.

While she lived in Tunbridge wells she was involved in community projects and despite being stripped of her assets and the right to make a will by her brothers managed to make generous donations to support the Red Cross based in the parish of St Phillips.

The part that saddens me is that after her passing instead of following her wishes to be buried alongside the love of her life Frederick in The Julius Beer Mausoleum in Highgate Cemetery (now a grade two listed building) which might have kept her name alive, instead her family had her buried on unconsecrated ground in our local cemetery, her gravestone stating only ‘Daughter of David Sassoon’.

Despite editing the Sunday Times for ten years there was no mention made of her passing.

I would love to see our local buildings adorned with local interest plaques  dedicated to these fantastic women and some of the other local ‘celebrities’ that if we are not careful will slip away.

I am looking forward to exploring these and other local figures more in future works.

 



Turnaround: 

Please allow approx 5 working days turnaround, this allows me to reorder supplies if things get busy and to batch post items. However If you do need an item sooner than that feel free to email me and if  I can try to speed your order through then I will.

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All prints are sent in a cellophane sleeve on a recycled grey backing board to ensure that they arrive in perfect condition for you. 
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