A RESPECTED author has dedicated her latest book to the teacher who inspired her while she was a pupil at Easingwold School.

Jane Robinson, who writes on pioneering females throughout history, was inspired to write her latest work by her former English teacher, Mollie Haigh, who motivated her to win a place at Oxford University.

The book, called Bluestockings, deals with the struggle of women in the late 19th century and early 20th century to be accepted by the academic establishment.

“When I was a child, I knew I wanted to do English and I dreamed of going to Oxford, but no girls had gone to Oxford from Easingwold. Mollie gave me the confidence to do it,” said Mrs Robinson.

“She didn’t make you frightened that you would fail, she just reassured you that you had the potential. She gave me the confidence to try.”

Mrs Robinson described her former teacher as “larger than life” and said at the recent book launch event she was “the belle of the ball”.

Bluestockings, The Short, Intrepid History of the Undergraduette, published by Penguin, is out on August 6. The book has already been praised in The Sunday Times and will feature as Radio Four’s book of the week from August 10.

Miss Haigh, who taught at Easingwold School from 1954 to 1985, said of the dedication: “It means an enormous amount – a great deal.

“Jane rang me about 18 months ago and said her new book was going to be about women fighting for an education.

“She said she wanted to ask me a favour and then asked if she could dedicate the book to me.”

Miss Haigh is already the proud owner of a copy of the book which states “For Mollie Haigh, an inspirational lady”.

As well as being an inspiration to hundreds of pupils over the years, Miss Haigh was awarded an MBE in 1999 for her services to the community in her other role as a Hambleton District councillor.