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.’

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'What in other hands could have been a dry, pedantic account of Christianity’s birth and evolution becomes in Holla… ,
    • RT : One of my favourite literary magazines is celebrating 40 years this year. Here is the September edition of… ,
    • 'Now that the Thames is too fast-flowing to freeze, its spirit’s devotees ... have found other climes for their pri… ,
    • 'Bythell glowers past his till at a world in slow free fall.' on the travails of a second-hand book… ,
    • 'It is a scent of animal wrath, of instinctive need, of brutal life which affects the cultured nostrils of our civi… ,
    • 'The day produced countless stories of chance, of people taking one route or another without realising that the dec… ,
    • In this month's 'Silenced Voices', looks at the case of Azimjon Askarov, the journalist and human rights… ,