At the launch of my biography of Margaret Thatcher, I was flattered to see Michael and Anne Heseltine joining the signing queue. It was very sporting of him. When they reached me, Anne asked for my inscription, but Michael said he wished his copy to be blank so that he could quickly sell it. I think — unusually for him — that he misunderstands the way this strange market works.
The most common question I am asked by audiences about Mrs Thatcher is something to do with Carol and Mark. Did she bring them up successfully? Was she a good mother? etc. The fact that this comes up so often is testimony to the point I make again and again: it was completely different — and very difficult — being the first woman prime minister. People know that the children of male prime ministers almost always have a very tricky time — look at all Churchill’s children apart from Mary Soames — but it doesn’t bother them. In the case of Mrs Thatcher, however, they come to close to using her achievements or failures as a mother as the yardstick for judging her entire career.
This is an extract from Charles Moore’s Spectator’s Notes from this week’s magazine. Click here to subscribe to the magazine and receive a FREE copy of the official authorised biography of Margaret Thatcher, by Charles Moore, worth £30.
Join us for ‘An Evening with Charles Moore‘ on 7 May, where Andrew Neil will discuss the life of Baroness Thatcher with her official biographer, sharing his unique insights into this towering political figure of our times. Click here to book tickets.Tags: Margaret Thatcher, Michael Heseltine, UK politics