Saturday, 17 March 2018

Zoe Lady Hart Dyke

Dear friend,

Please find attached the publicity poster for a talk I will be giving at the Leyton & Leytonstone Historical Society meeting on Wednesday 21 March, at St John's Church Hall, Leytonstone High Road, London E11 1HH at 7-45pm. This email has a wide circulation, and for some of my more distant friends it will be more of a cordial notification of what I'm up to, rather than an expectation of attendance!

I'm delighted to say that I have now completed the biography of Zoe Lady Hart Dyke (born Millicent Zoe Bond in Leyton in 1896). Entitled Unravelling the Yarn: Zoe Hart Dyke and the Leyton Silk Road (ISBN 978-1-9998278-3-0) the book will be launched at this meeting of the Leyton & Leytonstone Historical Society.

During this month of International Women's Day celebrations, I will particularly explore background pertaining to the women in arts, craft, architecture, theatre, broadcasting, writing, horticulture and elsewhere, with whom Zoe associated in the 1930s - 1970s as part of her quest to establish, from scratch, Britain's only commercial silk farm in the twentieth century.

The biography, which also includes a Foreword by the Mayor of Waltham Forest, Cllr Yemi Osho, traces the adventures of Zoe's Bond family relations and Zoe's own family subsequent to her intringuingly precipitous marriage into the Hart Dyke baronetcy of Lullingstone, Kent. A personal interview last summer with Zoe's son, Guy Hart Dyke, who has sadly recently passed away, gave me further insights into how she was perceived by those close to her. Zoe's forays into the business world of the silk industry, her tangles with bureaucracy, and her success in gaining royal patronage are wryly examined. At the same time, I have argued for her historical achievements to potentially cast her as an inspirational woman.

The book will be on sale, priced £10, at the event, and will be available for distribution afterwards.

This has been such an exciting chapter of my life, and I am looking forward to enabling you to share in its outcome, perhaps on 21st March, or through reading the story of Zoe!

Please do get in touch.

With many thanks for your interest,


Claire Weiss
Leyton, London E10.
077 5393 2043
020 8539 2833

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