‘If Love Were All…’ : The Story of Frances Stevenson and David Lloyd George by John Campbell - review by Jane Ridley

Jane Ridley

The Goat and the Pussycat

‘If Love Were All…’ : The Story of Frances Stevenson and David Lloyd George

By

Jonathan Cape 562pp £25 order from our bookshop
 

John Campbell’s first book, published nearly thirty years ago, was a study of Lloyd George, entitled The Goat in the Wilderness. Now, having written important biographies of Margaret Thatcher and Edward Heath, Campbell has returned to Lloyd George. Once seen as a political giant, his stock has fallen since Campbell first wrote, and Churchill now stands unchallenged as man of the century. Except, perhaps, in one respect. For as this fascinating book reveals, LG was the first modern politician in one important sense: he had an affair with his secretary. 

In 1911, when the story starts, Lloyd George was forty-eight and Chancellor of the Exchequer in Asquith’s government, the darling of the Liberal left. His wife Maggie, to whom he had been married for over twenty years, disliked leaving her home in North Wales to spend time in London. Frances

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