God and Mrs Thatcher

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“God and Mrs Thatcher is the most serious and penetrating study on the intellectual and religious origins of Thatcherism to have been written”

Charles Moore

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‘…There have been plenty of biographies of the Thatcher era but no other writer has taken quite such an imaginative approach.’

Catherine Pepinster, The Tablet

God and Mrs ThatcherA woman demonised by the left and sanctified by the right, there has always been a religious undercurrent to discussions of Margaret Thatcher. However, while her Methodist roots are well known, the impact of her faith on her politics is often overlooked. As a child, she would sit in the pews listening to her lay-preacher father, Alf Roberts, hammer home sermons on the Protestant work ethic, God-given liberty and the sanctity of the individual. It was in the pulpit of Finkin Street’s Wesleyan Church in Grantham where Thatcherism was born.

When Margaret Thatcher recited the prayer of St Francis of Assisi on the steps of No 10, it signalled a new era of conviction politics. Her rise coincided with the emergence of a Christian right in Britain committed to wresting the moral mantle from socialism and elevating the market as the true godly path. One institution which did not share this outlook, however, was the Church of England which doggedly defended the Christian origins of Britain’s social democracy and condemned the selfish individualism and rampant materialism being let loose in the name of enterprise culture.

Margaret Thatcher may have set out to reinvigorate the nation with the Nonconformist values of her father, but in the end she created a country that was not more Christian, but more secular; and not more devout, but entirely consumed by a new religion: capitalism. In upholding the sanctity of the individual, Thatcherism inadvertently signalled the death of Christian Britain.

Wide-ranging and exhaustively researched, God and Mrs Thatcher offers a truly original perspective on the source and substance of Margaret Thatcher’s political values and the role that religion played in the politics of this tumultuous decade.

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“thoroughly researched and thoughtful study…”

John Campbell, author of ‘Margaret Thatcher: The Iron Lady’, The Independent

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“[a] refreshingly original view…this is the first attempt at a serious portrayal of her religious beliefs and spiritual values, connecting them to events in the turbulent era in which she governed Britain… cleverly and colourfully chronicled in this outstanding book”

Jonathan Aitken – Daily Mail

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“the book undersells itself: more than simply about “God and Mrs Thatcher”, this is as comprehensive an assessment of late 20th century British theo-politics as exists.”

Nick Spencer, Research Director – Theos

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“By looking closely at the theological influences on Thatcher, Filby has opened up a previously missing aspect of Thatcher’s political thought. Hers is an important and fascinating contribution to the scholarship that will be much discussed.”

Rev. Giles Fraser – The Guardian

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“a fascinating book [which] argues persuasively that Margaret Thatcher was the most religious prime minister since William Gladstone.”

Stephen Glover – Standpoint

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“Filby writes well. She has a gift for phrases that convey important insights…”

Church of England newspaper