Marian attended a Church of England primary school in a suburb of Nottingham. At 11 her parents could not afford the costs of a grammar school (uniform etc) so she went to a non-selective senior school, Carlton Senior Girls. Just after her 14th birthday she left school to work in the educational and technical department of a Nottingham bookshop. Marian had an inspirational history teacher called Miss Hancock who brought the subject alive but she regretted that they only got as far as the Stuarts and never studied the Victorians. She remembered no textbooks for history – just the teacher talking and writing on the blackboard. Nor was any homework set or public examinations taken and all the girls left by the age of fourteen
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