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The Senecans

four men and Margaret Thatcher

The Senecans
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A year after the death of Margaret Thatcher, a young woman arrives to ask Peter Stothard, former Editor of The Times, some sharp questions about his memories of the Thatcher era. During her interview the offices from where he has long observed British politics are being flattened by wrecking balls. Forgotten stories return. From the destruction of a collapsing newspaper plant emerge portraits of 'the Senecans': a Hollywood screenwriter who wrote Thatcher's speeches, a socialite former socialist who comforted her with flattery, a comic political columnist whom she admired but rarely read and a multi-millionaire film-producer whom she consulted but never acknowledged. The Senecans took their name from their taste for the work of Seneca, a philosopher, courtier and acquirer of massive wealth during the age of Emperor Nero. Blending memoir with ancient and modern politics in the manner of his acclaimed diaries On the Spartacus Road and Alexandria, Stothard sheds a sideways light on recent history. In finally identifying his interviewer he answers questions about his own literary and political journey.

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