Edna May Healey, Baroness Healey (née Edmunds; 14 June 1918 – 21 July 2010) was a British writer, lecturer and filmmaker.

Life and career

Edna May Edmunds was born in the Forest of Dean and educated at Bells Grammar School, Coleford, Gloucestershire, where she was the first pupil to gain a place at Oxford University. Her father, Edward Edmunds, was a crane driver who threatened her that failing to apply herself to reading would leave her working in a pin factory.[1] While studying English at St Hugh's College she met Denis Healey, who was studying at Balliol College. She then trained as a teacher and married Healey in 1945 after his military service in World War II.[2] She became Baroness Healey in 1992 when her husband received a life peerage.

Though she began her writing career relatively late in life, her books were critically acclaimed and sometimes best-sellers. She wrote non-fiction books, often biographies of successful women in powerful positions.[3] Lady Healey also made two award-winning television documentaries.[4]

She was elected in 1993 a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature[5]


Edna Healey has one entry in the 8th Edition of The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations where she says of Margaret Thatcher, "She has no hinterland; in particular she has no sense of history."[6][7]


She died on 21 July 2010, aged 92. She was survived by Lord Healey, her husband of 65 years, three children and four grandchildren.[8]




  1. ^ "Edna Healey obituary". TheGuardian.com. 22 July 2010.
  2. ^ Obituary in The Times, 24 July 2010
  3. ^ Denis Healey's wife, Edna, dies aged 92
  4. ^ Edna Healey, author, film-maker and Denis's wife, dies at 92
  5. ^ "Royal Society of Literature All Fellows". Royal Society of Literature. Archived from the original on 5 March 2010. Retrieved 9 August 2010.
  6. ^ The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations. 8th Edition. Page 374
  7. ^ "The Time of My Life" (1989) by Denis Healey
  8. ^ The Courier and Advertiser obituary, 24 July 2010