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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 - Childhood Chapter 2 - Liverpool University and Gray's Inn Chapter 3 - Becoming a Barrister Chapter 4 - Developing a Practice at the Bar Chapter 5 - The End of the War and Marriage Chapter 6 - Becoming a Mother and Taking Silk Chapter 7 - The Cameo Murder Trials Chapter 8 - Adjustment to Motherhood and in Demand as a Speaker Chapter 9 - Getting into her Stride in Silk Chapter 10 - Welcome and Unwelcome Publicity and Another Famous Murder Trial Chapter 11 - A Series of High-Profile Cases Chapter 12 - Rose Cements Her Reputation Chapter 13 - A Series of Triumphs-On the Brink of Legal History Once More Chapter 14 - An Unwitting Public Persona Chapter 15 - First Woman Recorder and a Trip to Benin Chapter 16 - Premieres, Parades, Parklands and Practice Chapter 17 - A Flourishing Practice and a Royal Invitation to Lunch Chapter 18 - Some New Experiences Chapter 19 - Temporary Disappointments and Long-Term Achievements Chapter 20 - Another Landmark Case Chapter 21 - The Last Years at the Bar Chapter 22 - The Start of Judicial Life Chapter 23 - The Rape Report and More Honours Chapter 24 - Settling into Judicial Life Chapter 25 - The Final Years before Retirement Chapter 26 - Retirement

About the Author

Hilary Heilbron is the only child of the late Rose Heilbron and herself a barrister and Queen's Counsel. She practises commercial litigation and international arbitration in London and in other jurisdictions and sits as an international arbitrator.


...[A] trailblazer for women. Hilary Heilbron's biography of her mother,...tastes of postwar Britain like the rock sold on Rhyl beach by one of Rose's clients who was accused of breaching rationing orders. In an age of true austerity and deprivation, an attractive young woman achieves celebrity status through her advocacy skills and the acres of newsprint (invariably under a headline describing her as a Portia) that they provoked...Hilary Heilbron's entertaining book captures the legal and social atmosphere in which her mother climbed to the top of her profession and started the process (still continuing) of removing the barriers against women. -- David Pannick * The Times *
Rose Heilbron was one of the most prominent and influential English lawyers of the past century....Hilary Heilbron adds intimate and vivid touches to the portrait of the private Rose as wife, mother, home- and holiday-maker which no other author could (or maybe would) have essayed. But it was the public Rose who inspired a new generation of female advocates; and if more than half of those called to the Bar this year are women, she can claim the posthumous credit. The young Margaret Thatcher, when a Bar student, presciently praised Rose as a role model in an article in the Sunday Graphic; she was indeed as much a pioneer in the field of law as Lady Thatcher was in the field of politics. The author is properly proud of her mother and in this book, which supplies a necessary chapter in legal history, she has done her proud. -- Michael Beloff * Times Literary Supplement *
Any aspiring lawyer should read... the wonderfully written account of the extraordinary life of Rose Heilbron...who became England's first female judge. ....She was without question before her time, blazing a trail now followed by countless other women....Her story has everything a good book should have: murder, mystery, suspense, courage, determination and, finally, ultimate the face of seemingly unsurmountable obstacles.....a story of a woman who...rewrote the rules, before the late Mrs Thatcher ever ventured into the House of Commons as [an] MP....This is the story of a woman to make all women proud. -- Louis Flannery, Partner & Head of International Arbitration at Stephenson Harwood * New Law Journal *
Star who raised the Bar...this biography of an extraordinary woman...Rose Heilbron was the Margaret Thatcher of the law, a woman who broke through the glass ceiling by sheer force of personality and talent...The list of firsts in Rose's career was unique...This lucidly written and gripping a fitting filial memorial to a great woman. -- Jonathan Goldberg QC * The Jewish Chronicle *
It is impossible to overplay the pioneering achievements of Rose Heilbron, who was made a Dame of the British Empire in 1974 -- Paddy Shennan * Liverpool Echo *
Through the personal recollections of her daughter we are given an insight into the private face of this very public, internationally acclaimed personality who demonstrated so impressively what a woman could achieve in the law. -- Rt Hon Lady Cosgrove * Journal of the Law Society of Scotland *
The book has an enjoyable balance between Rose Heilbron's professional life and the relationships that she had as a wife, mother and friend ....Rose Heilbron's career was truly remarkable and her success laid the foundations for many other women to join the interesting and inspiring read about a fascinating life. -- Catherine Brown * Counsel Magazine *
...this biography is a highly readable account of an extraordinary individual and is thoroughly recommended...These well-written pages provide a detailed and masterfully woven account of the life and times of an advocate who blazed a trail for so many others...Setting aside her gender, this biography is a study of the success of a good citizen, a great lawyer and judge. -- Justice Gilles Renaud * Law Society Journal *
Hilary's warm and meticulously researched biography of her mother Rose is the definitive tribute to a truly remarkable woman, wife, mother, barrister, judge and Treasurer...I commend this book to you. -- Master Heather Steel * GRAYA, No. 126 *
Rose's story -- related in affectionate detail by her daughter Hilary, also a QC -- is one of a life well lived; full of incident, insight and achievement, as well as family life and fun - and yes, the more than occasional setback and disappointment....The biography certainly deserves pride of place in anyone's professional or home library. -- Phillip Taylor, Richmond Green Chambers
This book will be of real interest to many who are, or who have ever been, in practice on the Northern Circuit. -- Christine Bispham * In Brief, Magazine of the Northern Circuit *
The delight of this biography is the balance between the chronological account of the sensational or legally significant cases in which Rose Heilbron was involved and the background of the society in which these dramas were played out...[Hilary] writes with great warmth and knowledge, and from a unique position, of what it took for her mother to achieve such success. -- Elizabeth Slade * The Brown Book *
This book is affectionate but also fact-intensive, as we say on this side of the Pond. It is an inspiring narrative of Heilbron's journey through the world of Britain's elite counselors and jurists...This book is both a history and a celebration, and is a good read during the centennial year of its subject's birth. -- Richard C. Cahn * Journal of the American Trial Lawyers Association, Fall 2014 *

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