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A Diary of The Lady: My First Year and a half as editor

3.19  ·  Rating details ·  108 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews

Rachel Johnson takes on the challenge of saving The Lady, Britain's oldest women's weekly, in her hilarious diary, A Diary of The Lady: My First Year and a Half as Editor.

'The whole place seemed completely bonkers: dusty, tatty, disorganized and impossibly old-fashioned, set in an age of doilies and flag-waving patriotism and jam still for tea, some sunny day.'


Kindle Edition, 461 pages
Published September 1st 2011 by ePenguin (first published September 30th 2010)
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Alison Wilson
Aug 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I must admit that I had never heard of "The Lady" before I read this book. It is apparently a magazine for upper-class women, at least it used to be. The current editor, Rachel Johnson, is trying to change that and broaden "The Lady"'s appeal, though it remains a magazine for those who like more traditional and rural pursuits. This book is an account, in diary form, of Rachel Johnson's first year and a half as editor of "The Lady". What makes this diary so readable is Rachel's sense of humour an ...more
Bryn Young-roberts
I had never heard of Rachel Johnson before picking up this book, which I read out of interest for an insight into journalistic practices. Can't say I'll be following her career further, either. She is a parody of the posh upper class twit that would make a great girlfriend for Tim Nice But Dim. Despite siblings and a father with political careers (one of whom is blond mop top Boris Johnson), referring to her dad as Dada, being married to an Ivo, having a child called Ludo and constant references ...more
Kirsty Gurney
I thought this book would be far more interesting. Rachel Johnson glosses over the stresses of an editors life, placing emphasis on the pretty/tasty things which arrive in her intray, and the celebs she meets along the way. There are even moments in the book where she is criticised for making her writing a who's who of society and, although I enjoyed bits of this, I have to believe that it is true. It felt too showy! Although I enjoyed the anecdotal style of writing, I felt the gloss was just a ...more
Sep 25, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
A bit of a romp through the media classes of London Town. Rachel Johnson comes across as a jolly hockeysticks kinda gal who surprises herself by falling in love with her new job. If she's genuinely like this, she may grate on me in real life, but as a caricature of herself in this book can't help but love Boris' blonde sister.

Although a wee bit young to buy a copy of the lady just yet, I do hope it survives.

Love the review below me starts just like one of the emails RJ receives...
Mar 04, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I did enjoy reading this book, but found that I liked it less as I got closer to the end - perhaps due to the fact that it was more of the same as it went on. My vote would be shorter and more of an ending. Still, it was a bit fun. And I would kind of like to watch the doco, although perhaps not for altogether the best reasons. And now part of me wants someone to give me an old-style ladies magazine to make over.
Adam Mills
May 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paperback
Brilliantly middle-class. Funny, witty, and nostalgic, whilst Johnson describes her lunches with Dukes and Dames, Lords and Ladies, and the great and good of the world. The Lady's got a lot of stick over the last decade or so, but RJ's project will only end in success. A really enjoyable read.

Jan 03, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Gave up on this. I read the first month (September) and wasn't impressed but decided to give it another month but didn't get that far.

Mildly amusing but too many references to people I'd never heard of. Mostly I found it putting me off the author who I've always rather liked!
Alex Carreras
Jul 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simply hilarious! I loved this book.
Jennifer Simpson
Aug 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Loved this - indiscreet, gossipy, funny, exciting, entertaing.
Sep 13, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very entertaining
Fun, easy read. Loved it. Made me actually laugh out loud
The Commuting Bookworm
As an avide reader of the magazine I got my hubby to but this for a Christmas Pressie, what a disapointment. She does not come over as a nice person or a lady.
Jessamy Hudson
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Rachel Johnson is a British editor, journalist, television presenter and author based in London. She lives in Notting Hill, London with her husband. They have three adult children.

Librarian’s note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.
More about Rachel Johnson...