If you thought the angst-ridden singleton epitomised by Bridget Jones was a creation of the Naughty 1990s, think again. A newly-discovered diary, written in 1925, shows that women 80 years ago were just as obsessed with men, diets and relationships as their modern-day counterparts. The leather-bound journal, written in pencil by 17-year-old Ilene Powell, from Bristol, bears a striking resemblance to the fictional memoirs of Helen Fielding's neurotic thirtysomething heroine.1920s Bridget Jones never found her Mr Darcy, by Nicole Martin and Richard Savill.
Just as Bridget Jones continued her turbulent love life in the second instalment of her diaries, it emerged yesterday that her 1920s counterpart had man troubles until the day she died.
Ilene Powell, sociable and fiercely independent, finally settled down and married Jack Woodley in 1940 at the age of 32, but the marriage ended in divorce after four years
when he committed adultery.
According to family friends, Miss Powell had no children and lived much of her later life alone, running a hotel in Bristol before retiring to the seaside town of Clevedon, Somerset, where she died nearly 20 years ago.