World: The Ginger Woman

"My vigor, vitality and cheek repel me," she said in one of her rare fits of humility. "I am the kind of woman I would run from." In 84 years of almost constant exercise, Nancy Aster's acerbic tongue and quixotic heart led many to agree with her self-estimate. As Britain's leading feminist, best-known hostess, and fulltime gadfly, she herself was criticized, denounced and derided during much of her life, but all her foes in chorus could not have insulted so many people of high and low station so joyously as Lady Astor.

Among the...

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