Tim Stanley

Born to Rule

A Different Kind of Weather: A Memoir

By

Constable 297pp £20 order from our bookshop

William Waldegrave’s memoir is a textbook example of how the upper-middle-class Englishman should review his life: with candour, honesty and humour. A personal secretary to Ted Heath and minister in the governments of Margaret Thatcher and John Major, he writes that the purpose of his book is to explain ‘what it felt like’ to be so close to political power. Close, that is, but no cigar. About his failure to obtain what every aristocratic Tory thinks is his birthright – the keys to Number 10 – Waldegrave is amusingly, blackly comic. He wonders if assassination by the IRA in the 1990s might have elevated him. The newspapers surely would’ve speculated that he had been foreign secretary material? ‘There is something to be said, reputationally, for being cut off when still full of promise.’

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Start your week with a dose of Russian Revolutionary zeal. Donald Rayfield reviews Tobie Mathew's 'Greetings From t… ,
    • A treat from the LR Archive: exactly 20 years ago, Malcolm Bradbury reviewed John Updike's 'Bech at Bay' ,
    • ‘When bullets come close, the noise they make as they go past changes from a zing to a crack’ John Lanchester's dy… ,
    • Man with a Bloody Paintbrush: Robin Simon on Lucian Freud ,
    • Jane Ridley reviews The Diaries of Kenneth Rose (ed. D R Thorpe) ,
    • ‘Look,’ says Trump. ‘The fact is I’m only human.’ On the evidence of this book that point is debatable. From the A… ,
    • From our December/January issue - here's John Banville's review of Colm Tóibín on the fathers of Wilde, Yeats and J… ,