A Leighton Buzzard author has published his new book about Britain’s Prime Ministers, containing surprising stories, quirky quotes and the secrets to what made them tick!
Roger Mason is proud to introduce Prime Ministerial Anecdotes, his work containing a mini biography for each of Britain’s 54 Prime Ministers, from Sir Robert Walpole to Theresa May.
The first half of each chapter contains details about the subject’s life and career, while the second half presents anecdotes, and Leighton-Linslade readers can even discover a Victorian Prime Minister (1894-95) who lived quite close to home.
Roger said: “The 5th Earl of Rosebery became a Prime Minister at quite an early age - 47. First of all, he was an insomniac. Once he went nine successive 24-hour periods without sleeping!
“When he was at university he made a bet with a friend that he would do three things: marry an heiress, become Prime Minister, and win the derby. Lord Rosebery married Hannah Rothschild who was the richest heiress in the country, but very very sadly she died after 12 years. They had four children together.
“Mentmore Towers [just four miles from Leighton Buzzard] was owned by the Rothschilds, and it came to Lord Rosebery when he married Hannah. He lived in it for the rest of his life.
“His horses also won the derby twice. The first time was while he was Prime Minister and his horse was the shortest prize horse to win the derby to this day - 2/9.”
As well as introducing audiences to historical leaders you may know little about, the book also reveals details about popular names in British history.
For example, what did the Duke of Wellington and Napoleon share (although not at the same time!), to whom did Lord Palmerston give a fright in the night, and how did Churchill make a joke at the expense of his former rival Eton College?
Roger added: “It is very very difficult to chose a favourite but I have great admiration for Mr Attlee, the Labour Prime Minister.
“He was a very, very nice man. He was shy and and modest and he didn’t make any money out of being Prime Minister, and after he died he left an estate of just over £7,000 which isn’t much even if you allow for inflation. Others have become multi-millionaires.
“He was very, very effective in setting up the welfare state, even though the country was bankrupt after World War Two, and there were millions of returning servicemen to be accommodated.
“Churchill and Attlee had great regard for each other even though they were from opposite parties.”
The book, his 26th, took Roger one year to write, although during this time he was working on many other projects.
Twenty of his titles have been on the subject of company law and finance and he has written his other books about democracy. He also give talks to society’s such as the U3A, and even conducts some presentations on cruise chips!
But what of our current Prime Minister?
Roger added: “Theresa May... I think she’s a bit of a ‘we will see’ - the jury is out.
“I’m not sure what history is going to say about Mrs May. I think how we get out of the European Union will be the main decider.”
Roger’s book was published on May 31 by Fonthill Media and is available for £16.99 in paperback.
Roger has lived in Leighton Buzzard since 2000. He has two children, a son and a daughter, and one stepdaughter. His wife is called Dorothy and he has five grandchildren. If you would like Roger to give a talk, please call: 01525 851 230.&&