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Mile End Institute

Marcia Williams: The Life and Times of Baroness Falkender

When: Wednesday, November 1, 2023, 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Where: David Sizer Lecture Theatre, Bancroft Building, Mile End


We are delighted to be launching Linda McDougall's new biography of Marcia Williams, who studied at Queen Mary from 1951 to 1954 and became the first woman political adviser to a Prime Minister. 

Over a decade before Margaret Thatcher swept to power in May 1979, another Englishwoman was running Britain from 10 Downing Street: Marcia Williams, Private and Political Secretary to Harold Wilson. Having worked for Wilson since 1956, Williams became the Prime Minister’s trusted adviser and confidante forming, as the historian Ben Pimlott once described it, ‘the most famous and mysterious partnership in modern political history’.

To mark the publication of Marcia Williams: The Life and Times of Baroness Falkender by Biteback in October 2023, the Mile End Institute and Tides of History are delighted to be welcoming her biographer Linda McDougall to Queen Mary, where Marcia Field (as she then was) studied History from 1951 to 1954 and was Secretary of the Labour Society.

Linda McDougall is a leading journalist, television producer, and author of several books on women in politics. In addition to charting Williams' rise through the Labour Party, Linda will be examining the assumptions and accusations that were a constant accompaniment to her political career and exploring her influence on British politics and policy. 

We hope that this event will be of interest to anyone interested in British politics, policymaking, and public life, as well as British history in the twentieth century. There will be a Q&A and a drinks reception at which we anticipate books will be available for purchase.

This event will be held in the David Sizer Lecture Theatre in the Bancroft Building at Queen Mary University of London, which is number 31 on this map of the Mile End campus. It is open to all. Doors will open at 5pm and we aim to start at 5.30pm sharp.

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