Shirley Williams: The Biography

Peel, Mark

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ISBN 10: 1849546045 / ISBN 13: 9781849546041
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Num Pages: 450 pages. BIC Classification: 1DBK; 3JJP; BGH; HBJD1; HBLW3; JPQ. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 240 x 157 x 39. Weight in Grams: 762. . 2013. Hardcover. . . . . Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: For fifty years Shirley Williams has been one of Britain's best-known and best-loved politicians, admired for her warmth, sincerity, integrity and compassion. Hailing from an impeccable intellectual background, the young Shirley seemed destined for great things as she rose effortlessly up the political ladder. Yet for all the talk of her becoming the country's first female Prime Minister that accolade passed her by, her feisty independence earning her a career that has been anything but perpetual sunshine. In this first-ever biography, Mark Peel explores the dilemma that has faced Williams throughout the highs and lows of her political life: how to tread the line between firmly held principles and party solidarity. Drawing on his unfettered access to the family archive and conversations with Williams's colleagues, Peel skilfully teases out the contradictions at the heart of this remarkable character. Shirley Williams: The Biography reveals the surprisingly vulnerable figure behind the reassuring public facade. It uncovers the expectations placed on Williams by her highly ambitious parents, her guilt about her privileged background, and her often tumultuous personal relationships. The result is a touching, intimate portrait of one of the most complex and popular politicians of our time, a woman who through good times and bad has retained her essential humanity.

About the Author: After Harrow and Edinburgh University, where he read History, Mark Peel taught History and Politics at Fettes between 1983 and 2007, much enjoying the life of an all-round schoolmaster. His previous books include England Expects: A Life of Ken Barrington (winner of the 1993 Cricket Society Literary Award), The Land of Lost Content: A Biography of Anthony Chenevix-Trench; Cricketing Falstaff: A Biography of Colin Milburn; The Last Roman: A Biography of Colin Cowdrey and The Last Wesleyan: A Life of Donald Soper. A keen sportsman, Mark Peel runs the AllSorts Cricket Club.

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