Saturday, January 15, 2011


Pictured here with our Life President, Shirley Williams (Baroness Williams of Crosby), SWWJ member Jennifer Worth is discussing her superb book Call the Midwife which has proved to be an amazingly successful best-seller during 2010. Estimated sales are more than 300,000 copies. As a midwife and nursing sister, trained in the strict regime of hospital life almost sixty years ago, Jennifer describes in her book many of her experiences in London’s East End. Jennifer originally self-published this book in 2006 and The Times journalist Matthew Parris endorsed her work in his regular column. It wasn’t too long before her book attracted attention from an agent for Weidenfeld & Nicolson and Call the Midwife is currently being filmed for a TV series. We are thrilled for our talented colleague and hope that her earlier books Shadow of the Workhouse and Farewell to the East End, also reach similarly dizzy heights.

Jennifer was trained as a nurse, midwife, ward sister and night sister from 1953 until 1973. She was a nurse at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading and then moved to London for her midwifery training. She later became a staff nurse at the Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel, then ward sister at the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital in Euston; later working at the Marie Curie Hospital in Hampstead.

Having written so movingly about the beginning of life, Jennifer’s latest book In the Midst of Life explores the complexities surrounding how we die. Written with passion and conviction, In the Midst of Life may prove to be one of the most influential books of the decade.