In an upstairs room just off Berkeley Square on October 27 the great and the good of dentistry gathered for the launch of Dame Margaret Seward?s memoir. The room was full of colleagues, friends and family and at the centre things there was Margaret, accompanied by her husband Gordon Seward. On a table inside the door sat a pile of books wrapped in a jaunty red and white cover with a humorous caricature of Margaret neatly inserted between the two lines of the title. Open Wide; Memoir of the Dental Dame.There can?t be many people working in the dental field in the UK who are unaware of Margaret and her contribution to dentistry. Growing up in a home that also doubled as a dental surgery, Margaret?s story documents the development of NHS dentistry alongside her own career and as such it provides a document that social historians and colleagues alike will want to consult. But as the author says, ?If you are expecting a ?kiss and tell? tale then you will be disappointed. However, if you are looking for my life story interspersed with unexpected twists and turns, coupled with my reflections on these events, then I am sure you will find this memoir interesting and even intriguing.?
The details of Margaret?s own life are interspersed with details that capture the moment very nicely. Whether it is the description of a second-hand Meccano set and the trolley-buses she remembered as a child or the scene outside the theatre on the night that Gordon proposed, the story is sprinkled with delightful vignettes. If you learn only one thing from reading this book it will be the importance of recognising an opportunity and getting the most from it. As the first woman elected to the GDC Margaret found that she was offered neither access to a ladies loo or a position on any of the Committees. She was rapidly given access to both!
The anecdotes alone easily justify the cover price of ?19.95. If you mention that you are a dentist when purchasing a copy a ?2 donation will go to the BDA Benevolent Fund.
To place an order please contact Lynn Davidson at The Memoir Club firstname.lastname@example.orgMary Newing, Executive Editor for theDentalWeb, was there as always with her camera - see her photos from the event in the Photo Gallery here.