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Lindsey's Literary Leanings

Book Reviews - Contemporary Fiction / Biographies / Autobiographies

  • Lindsey Skelton-Smith

This Much is True (Author: Miriam Margolyes)

This Much is True (Book Cover)

Genre: Autobiographical

This Much Is True By Miriam Margoyles

I'm not exactly sure at what point I became aware of this fabulous woman. I think that it could possibly have been 14 years ago when I got together with my partner as he was & still is, an avid Blackadder fan.

As you might imagine, if you're aware of Miriam Margoyles, this is a no holes barred, up front, totally out there re-counting of (or so it would seem), every aspect, experience & period of her life. It certainly delivers what it promises on the cover. It's a chunky read & contains no less than 58 chapters, although they are more like sections as they aren't that long, so despite the size of the book nothing is dragged out & there is absolutely no chance of boredom! It covers many anecdotes such as her earliest memory of sucking her thumb whilst in her pram & a woman peering over into where she lay & informing her that the bogey man would come along & cut her thumb off! She recalls even at that age thinking that the woman was stupid & knowing she was incorrect...... also, being at a spa & running out into the snow naked, only to be caught by the manager, & a group of potential clients!

She also talks about her stage, television & voice over work (a lot of stage & voice over work that I was surprised about), regales us with a moment of extreme flatulence (something you will know she has a propensity for if you've followed her career) in a tunnel under Wembley Stadium queueing to meet Dolly Parton....Politics, Judaism, meeting the Queen & getting hitched. Plus her sexuality.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that a couple of retelling of acting jobs cross with parts of text in Joanna Lumley & Richard E Grant's Autobiography/Memoir. (Reviews of both on this page). Plus being given lessons to perfect an accent for a part by Richard's wife, Joan Washington.

There is a segment on the importance of friendship, of which she has accumulated many during her long & illustrious life, & her idyllic childhood as the apple of her parents' eyes as an only child, including an amusing (depending on your sense of humour) moment when, as a nappy-less baby in her playpen, she chose to give her Aunt a rather unfortunate gift, who promptly gave a scream &, I quote, 'never showed her much affection after that'.

This book is a bit of a commitment depending on how much time you have, but it is well worth it! It was fairly recently penned in 2021 during lockdown. It had lots of funny moments that had me crying with laughter. She strikes me as a kind, careful, thoughtful woman & immensely talented, who 'loves to make people laugh' & frankly I am sad that with her advancing years (she is now 81), & as she fears at the start of her book, we may not have her for much longer...not as long as I'd like anyway.

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