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Biography: Queen of drama in search of a fitting role

Dorothy Heathcote's Story: biography of a remarkable drama teacher By Gavin Bolton Trentham Books pound;15.99

Dorothy Heathcote's story is that of a perennial outsider. "I knew from an early age that I was somehow remarkable; I don't think I have ever just wanted to just fit in with everybody." But despite that bold claim, her story, at least as told by Gavin Bolton in this curious, intriguing and often irritating book, is a tale of a working-class woman's lifelong struggle for professional and personal acceptance and recognition. Heathcote was born into a poor, single-parent Yorkshire family and adopted by the doctor who delivered her. Although a bright child - "of course I was top of the class" - she failed the scholarship examination and left school at 14 to work in the local mill.

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