In Search of Mrs. T: The Elusive Woman behind Thatcherism

Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "In Search of Mrs. T: The Elusive Woman behind Thatcherism." The Weekly Standard, March 6, 2017.


David Cannadine dedicates his biography of Margaret Thatcher: “In memory of Mrs T.” But that Mrs T is not, as one might suppose, Mrs. Thatcher, the longest-serving prime minister of Great Britain in the 20th century. Instead, the preface informs us, it is a Mrs. Thurman, the headmistress of Cannadine’s primary school—an “unforgettable, intimidating, charismatic, and inspirational” figure, who, unlike many of her profession, was a “staunch Conservative,” a “committed Christian,” and a “vehement anti-Communist.” Cannadine concludes the tribute to his Mrs. T, the admirable headmistress, by hoping she would have recognized herself in his portrait of the more eminent Mrs. T, the prime minister.


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