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K. M. Elisabeth Murray has 1 past event. (show)

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Katherine Maud Elisabeth (Betty) Murray was the eldest granddaughter and later the biographer of Sir James Murray, founding editor of The Oxford English Dictionary. She studied modern history at Oxford University, graduating with a BLitt in 1933. Her thesis was published as The Constitutional History of the Cinque Ports (1935). Working as a research fellow at Somerville College, she discovered a vocation in academic administration and caring for students. In 1938, she was appointed assistant tutor and registrar at Girton College, Cambridge, and ten year later became principal of Bishop Otter College in Chichester, a small Anglican women's teacher training school. During her 22-year leadership, it developed in every way, doubling in size, going co-educational, and becoming a prominent institution. After her retirement in 1970, she turned her great energy to her magnum opus, Caught in the Web of Words (1977), her bestselling biography of her grandfather, transforming relatives' memories, verbal accounts, photographs, genealogical research, previous amateur biographies, and the many letters in her possession into a coherent narrative. In the book, she recalled a childhood memory of Sir James Murray walking in a procession beside Thomas Hardy to receive an honorary degree in Cambridge. Archeology was the other love of her life. In 1933 she had won a studentship at the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem and took part in excavations in Samaria. As a local councillor in Chichester, she helped restore Pallant House, and as president of the Sussex Archaeological Society, she helped organize excavations at Bignor and Fishbourne Palace.
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