Selected Writings

After Barbara Wootton's death, Vera Seal worked with Philip Bean to edit four volumes of her Wootton's selected writings. These were published in 1992. The first two volumes are devoted to her work on crime and the penal system, volume three focuses on her social and political thought, and the final volume on her economic and methodological thought.

Here are some extracts from reviews of Selected Writings:
'Beyond the interest of the person and the magnet of the style, there are two reasons for getting and reading these four volumes. The first makes one somewhat crestfallen: all the controversies are current...The second reason for reading Barbara Wootton is to see democracy at work...Anyone who wants to be reminded of how to make a civilised society work should read Barbara Wootton.' [Tyrrell Burgess, RSA Journal, 142 (5447), pp. 76-77]

'When I told anyone I was reviewing these volumes, they remembered Baroness Wootton of Abinger (as she became) for two quite different things: “Oh, didn't she marry a taxi driver?” and “Do you know the story about the elephant at the zoo?” Fame takes strange forms. She wouldn't have minded. She was a tough cookie, but she was a long way from being pompous...She deserves a biography, both in her own right and for what she stood for.' [Paul Barker, The Times Literary Supplement, 28 May, 1993, p.4]

'The Selected Writings also make possible at least a tentative assessment of Wootton's long-term role in intellectual and social history – a role that has so far been curiously any standards Barbara Wootton was one of the most fertile and formidable intellects in British public life of the mid-20th century.' [Jose Harris, London Review of Books, 10 November, 1994, 16 (21), p.12]