Dorothy Meade obituary

Publié le par The Guardian - Chris and Clare Meade

publishThe Guardianed 08/02/2013 at 11:08 GMT by Chris and Clare Meade

Our mother, Dorothy Meade, who has died aged 88, was co-author with her friend Tatiana Wolff of Lines on the Underground, a literary journey around London. They had started working on the book while at university in Cambridge; it was eventually published in 1994, when they were both in their 70s.

Dorothy Meade
Dorothy was born in Cambridge, the daughter of Phyllis (nee Seward) and Michael Sampson, and went to St Paul's girls' school in London. She was the older sister of the journalist and economist Anthony Sampson, later helping to research his 1997 book The Scholar Gypsy, about their grandfather John Sampson, friend of Augustus John. Their maternal grandmother was the painter Marion Seward.

Dorothy taught at Toynbee Hall, the east London centre of the Workers' Educational Association, after the second world war, then for the Council of Industrial Design in the 1950s, as part of the team at the Festival of Britain. She wrote for Woman magazine, Design, and Time and Tide, and co-wrote Design to Fit the Family for Penguin Books in 1965. The introduction to that book could serve as her manifesto for life and its relationship to decor, and may explain why she gathered such a diverse and devoted circle of friends around her Hampstead home where she lived with her husband, Peter, whom she married in 1953.

It declared: "A house should be a living thing, designed for the people who live in it … People, not things, must have the upper hand. Your house and the things in it must fit your way of life … A tough, washable material can still look luxurious; and it sets your mind at rest and looks smart for very much longer. The 'ideal' home is the one that makes allowances for the far from ideal people inside it."

Dorothy was a lifelong learner. After Peter's death in 1989, she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and became increasingly housebound but was an enthusiastic silver surfer and participant in MS society outings to art galleries and museums. She was always a source of practical tips for staying positive and avoiding despondency; her last ambition was to master her iPad by the time she was 90. She didn't make it, but predictably the IT experts who helped her became her close friends.

We survive her, along with four grandchildren, Anna, Ben, Joe and Dora.

Publié dans Avis de décès

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