Journalist Susan Crosland: 'Brave, clever, beautiful, funny and smart'


The Guardian today pays tribute to writer and journalist Susan Crosland who it describes as ‘brave, clever, beautiful, funny and smart”.

The widow of former Labour cabinet minister Tony Crosland, who has died aged 84, made made her name as an interviewer and profile writer for the Sunday Express and later the Sunday Times. Her journalistic career started in the late 1950s on The Guardian, and later Punch magazine, where she wrote as Susan Barnes.

The Guardian reports on Tony Benn’s written account of being interviewed by Crosland:

“She … asked a hundred trivial questions. Why do you keep your hair short? What do you think the Evening Standard meant by saying that you were a Scoutmaster? It was entirely inconsequential and I cannot think that anything helpful will come out of it.”

The Times reported in its obituary yesterday (password protected) that Crosland ‘pioneered what was in a effect a new art form in British journalism – the thoroughly researched profile stretching to almost New Yorker-style length”.

In the 1980s, after the death of her husband Tony Crosland in 1977 while he was foreign secretary, she returned to profile writing for the Sunday Times later writing a weekly column under editor Andrew Neil before leaving the paper to focus on writing books.

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