Rhondda, Margaret (1883–1958)

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article Share Article
views updated

Rhondda, Margaret (1883–1958)

Welsh publisher. Name variations: Lady Margaret Rhondda; Margaret Haig, Viscountess Rhondda; Margaret Haig Thomas; Margaret Mackworth. Born Margaret Haig Thomas in South Wales in 1883; died in 1958; only daughter of David Alfred Thomas (an industrialist) and Sybil (Haig) Thomas; educated privately, then in London and at St. Andrews; spent one year at Somerville College, Oxford; married Humphrey Mackworth, in 1908 (divorced 1923).

Lady Margaret Rhondda was born Margaret Haig Thomas in South Wales in 1883, the only daughter of David Alfred Thomas, an industrialist, and Sybil Haig Thomas . Her early years were quite eventful. Joining the protests of the militant suffragists, she was imprisoned and went on a hunger strike. Then, as a business associate of her father's, she was sent to America on the Lusitania in 1916. Fortunately, she was rescued from the sinking ship and went on to a viscountcy in 1918. After becoming a successful businesswoman, at one time serving as director of 33 companies, she was granted royal permission to attend the House of Lords.

In 1920, Lady Rhondda founded the weekly Time and Tide. For the first six years, it was edited by Helen Archdale and closely associated with the feminist organization known as the Six Point Group. When Lady Rhondda became editor (1926–58), the journal's emphasis shifted to politics in general. A leading weekly for nearly 60 years (1920–79), it numbered among its contributors Winifred Holtby , Cicely Hamilton , Stella Benson , Edith Nesbit , Rebecca West , Viola Meynell , Katherine Mansfield , Sylvia Townsend Warner , Vita Sackville-West , Dorothy L. Sayers , George Bernard Shaw, G.K. Chesterton, Aldous Huxley, Bertrand Russell, Storm Jameson , Gertrude Stein , Pamela Hansford Johnson , Rumer Godden , Kathleen Raine , Stella Gibbons , Edith Sitwell , Stevie Smith , D.H. Lawrence, T.S. Eliot, W.H. Auden, and E.M. Forster. After Lady Rhondda died in 1958, it was learned that she had pumped in £250,000 to subsidize her journal. Though it continued publication for another 20 years, it became a news magazine on the order of America's Time and Newsweek. Lady Rhondda's memoirs were published as This Was My World (1933) and Notes on the Way (1937). The Time and Tide Album was edited by E.M. Delafield (Elizabeth Monica Dashwood ) in 1932.

suggested reading:

Eoff, Shirley M. Viscountess Rhondda: Equalitarian Feminist. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press, 1991.