The Woman who Saved the Children: A Biography of Eglantyne Jebb (2009)

Book List
Publishing information: 
Clare Mulley. Oxford: Oneworld Publications, April 2009. 392pp. Hardback. ISBN 978-1-85168-657-5

This biography of Eglantyne Jebb (1876-1928), co-founder of Save the Children, is published to coincide with the 90th anniversary of the charity Save the Children in 2009 and the 20th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Students of philanthropy will be interested to learn that Jebb pioneered many of today’s most successful fundraising techniques, including press advertising, child sponsorship, and asking employees to donate a day’s wage. Her biographer describes her as at once a romantic and realist, whose short life (she died aged just 52) was full of humour and tragedy, passion and pain. She moved from illicit romance in Cambridge to espionage in Serbia, from private spiritualism in Shropshire to public arrest in Trafalgar Square, rubbing elbows with such notables as George Bernard Shaw, John Maynard Keynes, and Pope Benedict XV. Mulley notes that, while children’s universal human rights are yet to be realised, Eglantyne’s achievement of putting them on the world agenda is a powerful testament to her rare combination of personal courage, eccentric charisma, and humane vision.

  • Inspirational donations
  • Understanding philanthropy
  • Women's Philanthropy