The next volume of Margaret Thatcher’s authorised biography was launched at her former school, Kesteven and Grantham Girls’ School, last night.
Charles Moore was asked by Thatcher personally if he would write her biography in 1997, when he was editor of The Daily Telegraph.
Following on from the first volume ‘Not for Turning’, which charted her birth in Grantham up until victory in the Falklands War, volume two ‘Everything She Wants’ follows on from this point up to her third and final election victory in 1987.
The event organised by the Lincolnshire branch of the English Speaking Union, saw a reception in KGGS’ main hall followed by a talk from Mr Moore in the Roberts Hall, named after the school’s famous alumna and former head girl.
While the second volume focuses on a later part of Thatcher’s life, acknowledging the connection Mr Moore said: “She was very fond of the school and very grateful for what it did. She regarded it as the foundation of her career.”
During the talk Mr Moore focused on one particularly eventful week in Thatcher’s political career, in December 1984, which saw pivotal meetings with both Mikhail Gorbachev at Chequers and President Ronald Reagan in Washington, as well as the signing of the Sino-British Joint Declaration over the future of Hong Kong.
As a result of Thatcher’s endorsement, Mr Moore has had unprecedented access to official government papers, and is not subject to the now ‘20-year rule’ which usually applies before such documents are released.
Mr Moore also touched upon her relationship to Grantham. “She exhibited a feeling about it which I think is very common in people who come from a provincial background, and then become a success across the nation, which is a mixed feeling.
“One is that they are very glad to be out of the place they were brought up, because they want to succeed in what they see as the biggest possible sphere, but on the other side they are very glad they came from the place they did and they are very grateful for what they learned in that place. Both of those feelings were very strong in her mind,” he said.