Margaret Cole

Dame Margaret Cole
Born Margaret Isabel Postgate
6 May 1893
United Kingdom
Died 7 May 1980(1980-05-07) (aged 87)
United Kingdom
Occupation Writer, politician
Alma mater Roedean School
Girton College, Cambridge
Genre Mystery, biography
Relatives John Percival Postgate (father)
Edith Allen (mother)
Raymond Postgate (brother)

Dame Margaret Isabel Cole, DBE (née Postgate; 6 May 1893 7 May 1980) was an English socialist politician and writer.

Daughter of John Percival Postgate and Edith (née Allen) Postgate, Margaret was educated at Roedean School and Girton College, Cambridge. While at Girton, through her reading of H. G. Wells, George Bernard Shaw and others, she came to question the Anglicanism of her upbringing and to embrace atheism, socialism and feminism.

Upon successfully completing her course (Cambridge did not allow women to graduate formally until 1947), Margaret became a classics teacher at St. Paul's Girls' School. Her poem The Falling Leaves, a response to the First World War, and currently on the OCR English Literature syllabus at GCSE, shows the influence of Latin poetry in its use of long and short syllables to create mimetic effects.

During World War I, her brother Raymond Postgate sought exemption from military service as a socialist conscientious objector, but was denied recognition and jailed for refusing military orders. Her support for her brother led her to a belief in pacifism. During her subsequent campaign against conscription, she met G. D. H. Cole, whom she married in 1918. The couple worked together for the Fabian Society before moving to Oxford in 1924, where they both taught and wrote. In the early 1930s, Margaret abandoned her pacifism in reaction to the suppression of socialist movements by the governments in Germany and Austria and to the events of the Spanish Civil War.

In 1941, she was co-opted to the Education Committee of the London County Council, on the nomination of Herbert Morrison, and became a champion of comprehensive education. She was an alderman on London County Council from 1952 until the Council's abolition in 1965.[1] She was a member of the Inner London Education Authority from its creation in 1965 until her retirement from public life in 1967.

She wrote several books including a biography of her husband. Margaret's brother Raymond was a labour historian, journalist and novelist. Margaret and her husband jointly authored many mystery novels.[2]



  1. Jackson, W. Eric (1965). Achievement. A Short History of the London County Council. Longmans. p. 258.
  2. Evans, Curtis (2012). Masters of the "humdrum" Mystery: Cecil John Charles Street, Freeman Wills Crofts, Alfred Walter Stewart and the British Detective Novel, 1920-1961. McFarland & Company. ISBN 9780786490899.
Wikisource has original works written by or about:
Margaret Isabel Cole
Party political offices
Preceded by
Harold Wilson
Chairman of the Fabian Society
1955 1956
Succeeded by
Arthur Skeffington
Preceded by
G. D. H. Cole
President of the Fabian Society
1962 1980
Succeeded by
John Parker
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 10/29/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.