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Home and unemployed

28 September 1960

Mary returned to the family home in Ealing, to live with her aging parents and older brother John. Mary wrote of that time:

For rather more than two years I was out of work, living on fresh air and memories. I passed hours in the public library reading advertisements for jobs and hours at the typewriter hatching up applications. Schools were suspicious because I’d had only university experience; universities were suspicious because I’d changed horses in mid stream and elected to wander the world instead of staying in my nice comfortable rut; everyone was suspicious because I was of the weaker sex and of indeterminate age – about the middle years. I got heartily sick of the phrase ‘we feel this post calls for a young man’.

Mary may have been unemployed but she was not idle. As well as working on scientific papers covering the research she had conducted in the southern hemisphere, she was also preparing her first book for publication.