Juliet in Publishing by Elizabeth Churchill is a book I’ve added to my collection as an adult and it’s one of my favourite career novels. I don’t have anything else by Elizabeth Churchill and I don’t know if she wrote more.
As we meet her, Juliet has just arrived in England from Australia and is on the train up to London from Southampton. Serendipitously, she finds a job as secretary at the Iliad Press, a small but well-known publishing house. Along with Juliet, the reader is plied with information about the book trade as Juliet moves from post to post. If the book is to be believed, publishing was at a turning point (Juliet was published in 1956) and the Iliad Press, a small family concern is contrasted with the modern, much more commercial Symmons and Symmons.
Naturally, openings for women were few and far between and were mostly secretarial. I’m just of a generation that didn’t expect to find discrimination at work although, of course, it was still there but Juliet, who’d have been ages with my mother, lived and moved and had her being in an altogether different world where successful businesswomen were still regarded with suspicion.