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2: The British Raj: Volume II Decay Paperback – December 30, 2011
About the Author
Elisabeth was born in 1924, the second daughter of Nora Ford and Ronald Brymer Beckett, I.C.S.,later a High Court Judge in India and after independence, a prominent art historian. She lived in India until she returned for schooling in England at Vyne Stratton and Cheltenham Ladies College before rejoining her family in India. Elisabeth married Richard Hibbert, I.C.S., in Lahore Cathedral in 1942. After marriage they lived in Kangra district. She toured widely and chaired the welfare committee for families of Indian soldiers fighting in Burma. She returned to England in 1944 where she worked for Picture Post and BBC Publications before her husband rejoined her in 1947. Following the breakdown of her marriage in 1956, she moved with her children to Oxford. In financial difficulties, she fed her children on home-grown food. She joined the local Soil Association and became chairwoman of the National Council of Women Standing Committee on Animal Welfare. In that role she organised conferences and meetings in Oxford and Reading and from one such conference, the organization "Compassion in World Farming" was started. In the late 1960s, she started the Ark Nursery School. The school followed an integrated approach to early education, which incorporated daily bread-making and gardening into the timetable. The approach used ideas from D.W. Winnicott's ‘The Child, the Family and the Outside World’ and Rudolph Steiner's ‘Growth of the Child’, but was also inspired by Elisabeth's own experience with children and her philosophy of education. The school not only catered for many Oxford children but also trained young teachers from England, Europe, and the United States. The school was described in the book ‘Free Way to Learning: Educational Alternatives in Action’, published by Penguin Books in 1974. Meanwhile, her research on India resulted in drafts of two books on the British in India in which, she tried to correct what she felt were fundamental inaccuracies in previous accounts, advanced and repeated for political purposes, in contradiction to eyewitness evidence. Elisabeth studied law for a number of years and as a result of her studies, she became increasingly concerned that the British Constitution was being progressively eroded by successive governments. She was particularly incensed by the false assertion that we do not have a written constitution. She continued her pressure on Authority right up to her death from Leukaemia on 7 February 2009.
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