Kathleen Tynan : OBITUARIES

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For Kathleen Tynan nothing was impossible, writes Daniel Topolski (further to the obituary by Joan Juliet Buck, 11 January). It was typical that during the last two years, while she was collating her husband Ken's vast archive for the British Library, editing and publishing his letters and selling her home of the last 25 years, she was also co-ordinating the advice of doctors in Britain, Japan, the United States and France as she scoured the world for the best and latest treatments for cancer.

It was daunting to watch her controlling events to the last detail. Her basement flat was mission control and her finger was on every button. It was also typical that her battle was fought in secret and totally without pity.

Throughout her ordeal her army of devoted friends continued to benefit from her loyal attention and energetic encouragement - badgered to follow up this or that idea.

Kathleen's finely judged observations of political, literary and social life were always wittily just right, unfussy and devoid of sentimentality. She delighted in describing a recent unexpected meeting at a party where she failed to recognise her first husband, Oliver Gates, after nearly 30 years. He finally had to introduce himself: "Hello," he said, " I believe we were once married."

The tragedy is that she had so much still to do. With her duty to Ken behind her, she was embarking on both another novel and a biography of her late father, the Canadian radio journalist Matthew Halton, and she was also bringing her latest original film-script to the screen.

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