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Minnie Louise Haskins (1875-1957)

Born on 12 May 1875, Minnie Louise Haskins studied at LSE from 1918-1920, gaining a Social Science Certificate with distinction in 1919, and a Diploma in Sociology with distinction in Philosophy in 1920.

She became a member of staff at LSE in 1919, joining the Social Science department as an assistant before becoming a tutor in 1934. She was a popular member of LSE, retiring in 1939 but then reappointed a year later to continue until 1944.

During the First World War she was in charge of a munition workers' hostel for six months before supervising a Labour Management department of a controlled factory for three years.

In 1933, a senior tutor at LSE described her as: "a woman of unusual capacity and character... [with] a rare understanding and sympathy and infinite patience, combined with a great deal of love and interest in people."

She penned The Gate of the Year in 1908. It was privately printed and circulated in a volume called The Desert. Further publications include Through Beds of Stone (1928) and A Few People (1932). Her articles and reviews related chiefly to industry.

The Gate of the Year caught the public interest when it was read to the nation by King George VI soon after the outbreak of the Second World War. She was reportedly profoundly astonished to hear her poem being read by the King in his Christmas broadcast of 1939, and, according to LSE records, gave royalties earned from subsequent interest in the poem to charity. According to press reports, it was HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother who first introduced the poem to the King.

The Gate of the Year by Minnie Louise Haskins will be read at The Queen Mother's funeral on Tuesday 9 April. 

8 April 2002  

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