Friday, May 6, 2011

Fleet Street Editor: Rachel Beer

From the Jewish Chronicle Online:
Until very recently if you Googled the name Rachel Beer you would not come up with anything very much, certainly nothing to suggest that she did what no woman has done before or since - edit both the Observer and the Sunday Times. Indeed, for eight years she was in editorial control of both papers.

Israeli writers Yehuda Koren and Eilat Negev, who have written a book, The First Lady of Fleet Street, about her life, only happened upon her by chance on a visit to London. The Jerusalem–based married couple discovered the story during a visit to Highgate Cemetery.

Koren recalls: "We took a guided tour of the cemetery five years ago and came across the grave of a man called Julius Beer. He had built a mausoleum to block the view of the Victorian aristocrats who had ostracised him. It was an act of revenge. The name sounded Jewish but if he was Jewish what was he doing in Highgate Cemetery? We started looking for information and one thing led to another - we unearthed the story of his daughter-in-law, Rachel."

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