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The goldfish bowl - Cate Haste

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The goldfish bowl - married to the Prime Minister, 1955-1997
Cate Haste
Paperback / softback
Vintage Books
UK Publication Date

When your husband (or wife, in Denis Thatcher's case) becomes Prime Minister, and the doors of No.10 close behind you, every aspect of life is suddenly changed. This was what Cherie Booth discovered. Intrigued, Cherie and social historian Cate Haste set out to explore the experience of previous political generations since the 1950s.

Based on personal interviews, diaries and letters, and the accounts of surviving spouses, families, close friends and colleagues, the story begins with three Conservatives - Clarissa Eden, Dorothy Macmillan and Elizabeth Home. Then comes a shift with the Labour governments and the different backgrounds and attitudes of Mary Wilson and Audrey Callaghan, before the contrasting experiences of Denis Thatcher and Norma Major. Set against the flow of dramatic events on the world stage, this illuminating book explores the pressures of life in the 'goldfish bowl' and offers fascinating insight into the 'political marriage' and the changing role of the leader's spouse.

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Cherie Booth, QC, is an eminent lawyer, married to the former Prime Minister, Tony Blair; Cate Haste is a writer and film-maker, whose previous books include the highly praised studies, Nazi Women, Rules of Desire (Vintage) and Keep the Home Fires Burning.

"Interesting...It is good to see attention being given to the bit players in our history. Fascinating stuff"
Independent on Sunday

"Many interesting anecdotes and sidelights emerge from the interviews...Laudably impartial"
Times Literary Supplement

"Absorbing. This interesting piece of social history is a generous gift to all the "invisible witnesses" who came before"

"Splendid, honest and engrossing"
Antonia Fraser

Keyword Index
Prime ministers' spouses - Great Britain.
Country of Publication
Number of Pages

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