Born at Yardley near Birmingham, 22 June 1897, only child of Charles Henry Freeman, Birkenhead, and his wife Catharine (née Mawdesley), Southport. She was educated at Canton High School for Girls and the University College of South Wales, Cardiff, where she graduated B.A. in classics in 1918, and was awarded her M.A. in 1922 and D.Litt. in 1940. She was appointed lecturer in Greek at the college in 1919, and first published her research in classical studies and then wrote a number of experimental novels. There was a clear interval in her published work between 1929 and 1936. When she resumed publication of serious works it was under the stress of war, her other energies having been directed at that time to the writing of detective fiction, which she published under the pseudonym of ‘Mary Fitt’. During the war (1939-45) she lectured for the Ministry of Information and took part in the National Scheme of Education for H.M. Forces in south Wales. On 1 October 1946, when a senior lecturer in her department, she resigned to devote her time to travel, research and writing. In 1951 she was elected Chairman of the Philosophical Society of Great Britain and in the same year was admitted to the Detection Club, a much-coveted honour amongst writers of detective fiction. She died aged 61 on 21 February 1959 at her home at Lark's Rise, St. Mellons.
As Kathleen Freeman she wrote: The work and life of Solon (1926), The intruder and other stories (1926), Martin Hanner: A comedy (1926), Quarrelling with Lois (1928), This love (1929), It has all happened before, What the Greeks thought of their Nazis (1941), Voices of freedom (1943), What they said at the time: a survey of the causes of the second World War (1945), The murder of Herodes and other trials from the Athenian law courts (1946), Ancilla to the pre-Socratic philosophers, a complete translation of the fragments in Diel's Fragmente der Vorsokratiker (1946), The Greek way: an anthology (1947), translations from verse and prose, The Philoctetes of Sophocles: a modern version (1948), Greek city states (1950), God, man and the state: Greek concepts (1952), The paths of justice (1954), The Sophists (1954) translated from the Italian of M. Untersteiner's I sofisti, T'other Miss Austen (1956) and If any man build: The history of the Save the Children Fund (1965) published posthumously.
[Editorial note 2019: Freeman lived with her partner, Dr Liliane Clopet, a GP and author, from the 1930s until her death.]
Published date: 2001
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