The Iron Lady

Good news: the second volume of John Campbell’s biography of Margaret Thatcher, The Iron Lady, has been published. Matthew Norman, in today’s Guardian Diary, has a bit of fun at Peregrine Worsthorne’s (and Mark Thatcher’s) expense:

In the Spectator, Peregrine Worsthorne reviews the second volume of John Campbell’s brilliant Thatcher biography, quoting a passage about how “the paradox of Thatcherism is piquantly embodied” in her family history. Campbell compares Alfred Roberts, the shopkeeper with a strong sense of civic duty and an obsession with thrift, with “Mark Thatcher, an international businessman possessed of visible abilities, qualifications of social conscience …” Perry’s always been a broad brush chap, and it barely matters, but in the original text is a “no” before that “visible”. How many times must we tell these young ‘uns about the sovereign importance of checking the detail?

In the first sentence of his review, Worsthorne notes that Campbell “poses the question of what Alderman Roberts would have thought of the new Thatcherite Britain”, and comments that, “It is a question which, to the best of my knowledge, has never been asked before”. Odd, perhaps, to review the second volume of a book when you clearly haven’t paid attention to the first.

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