Woman's Hour - 04/03/2010

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With Jane Garvey. Pauline Tilston left school at fifteen to become an apprentice hairdresser. At sixteen she gave birth to her first child who was later put up for adoption. Later, a chance encounter at the bus stop with a ship steward and trade union activist called John Prescott was to result in a marriage that has lasted nearly fifty years. While John served as an MP, rising through the ranks in Westminster to become Deputy Prime Minister, the perfectly coiffed Pauline remained in the background at their constituency home in Hull. In 2006, their marriage hit the headlines when John confessed to an affair with his diary secretary. In a new book about her life, she talks to Jane about her life, living with John, his phobia of her hats, being reunited with her adopted son and why she has not been able to forgive his affair. Rose Tremain's books have won prizes, been made into films and stage plays, and been published in 27 countries. Her novels have an eclectic subject matter including the experience of an immigrant in modern London; the Court of King Charles II; 17th Century Denmark; and the New Zealand's Gold Rush during the 1860s. Her latest novel Trespass is set in modern day rural France and explores love, revenge and whether it is possible to escape your past. It is also her first crime novel. Rose Tremain joins Jane to discuss her love of writing, the inspiration and the process. Dame Anne Owers, Chief Inspector of Prisons, recently published her annual report. She acknowledged that despite struggling with an increasing population and decreasing resources, prisons in general have improved over recent years. However, there were still areas of concern, one of which was the situation of children and young people under eighteen in custody. To discuss the report, Jane is joined by Dame Anne Owers, Francis Done, Chair of the Youth Justice Board, and Deborah Coles, Co-Director of Inquest.