Sunday, October 3, 2010

Shirley Williams

Shirley Williams, Baroness Williams of Crosby, is a British politician and academic. Originally a Labour Member of Parliament and Cabinet Minister, she was one of the "Gang of Four" rebels who founded the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in 1981. She later served as Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords.

Her autobiography is Climbing the Bookshelves.

From her Q & A with Boyd Tonkin in the Independent:

Choose a favourite author and say why you like him/her

The pressures of political life mean I read a lot of poetry. My favourite now is Seamus Heaney. He has such extraordinary insight into events – including political events – but is also, profoundly, a poet.

* * *

Which fictional character most resembles you?

I don't have an answer to that, but my parents did. They named me after Charlotte Brontë's 'Shirley' – although I find her rather self-righteous and tedious!

* * *

Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?

It has to be Nelson Mandela. When you think of the amount of bitterness he overcame, after 27 years in prison – it's phenomenal.
Read the complete Q & A.

Learn about Shirley Williams's six best books.

--Marshal Zeringue