Like the devil in the Rolling Stones' song, Joan Bakewell was everywhere at every stage: reporting on the Cuban missile crisis, interviewing Allen Ginsberg and Vaclav Havel, taking chunks out of the Berlin Wall when it fell...draped in the kaftan of Sixties sophistication...her evocations of grief [are] powerful and honest.
Joan Bakewell's superb autobiography is honest and intriguing, but it is also beautifully-written...Contemplating her gender, Cambridge, politics, ideas, she appears charming without being self-righteous. Well conveyed is the tension she felt between seizing opportunities finally available to women like herself and the enduring expectations of motherhood and the perfect family.
She has the rare ability to observe her life from a semi-detached position and to lace her own story into the social history of our times
A beautifully written, fascinating glimpse into the childhood and personal life of the woman who was one of the pioneers for equality for women in the BBC.
vividly believable and tinged with sadness...a tender, unshowy memoir
Wise and wry
Few can match Bakewell for the qualities that abound in her book: class and composure and a deeply unfashionable concern for more than her own career.
Bakewell's level-headed discussion of her ambivalent response to the tag (the 'thinking man's crumpet') makes fascinating reading...as does her calm but moving account of her lengthy affair with Harold Pinter.