Pat Arrowsmith

PA 's writing—novels, poetry, memoirs and non-fiction, spanning much of the later twentieth century—reflects her lifelong commitment to militant political activism. Her work firmly expresses her socialist, pacifist, and feminist politics and often contains a strong autobiographical element. It concentrates on outsiders to society—prisoners, the elderly, the working-class—and explores the tensions and interpersonal problems faced by activist groups. Much of her writing has been done while serving prison sentences.
Black-and-white photo of Pat Arrowsmith protesting in Cardiff, after unsuccessfully running as a candidate for the Trotskyist Socialist Unity            Party, against Prime Minister James Callahan, 3 May 1979.
"Pat Arrowsmith" by Evening Standard/Stringer, 1979-05-03. Retrieved from This image is licensed under the GETTY IMAGES CONTENT LICENCE AGREEMENT.


2 March 1930
PA was born in a vicarage in Leamington Spa, on a Sunday just in time for lunch. She was the youngest in a family of three.
Arrowsmith, Pat. I Should Have Been a Hornby Train. Heretic Books, 1995.
PA published a memoir which makes generous use of excerpts from her early diary, novels, and poetry: I Should Have Been a Hornby Train.
“Contemporary Authors”. Gale Databases: Literature Resource Centre-LRC.


She was christened (by two bishops, she writes) Pat, not Patricia, and never used her middle name, Margaret, which was given her after her mother.
Arrowsmith, Pat. I Should Have Been a Hornby Train. Heretic Books, 1995.

Birth and Background