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Mrs Wilson's [Actual] Diary

Mrs Wilson's [Actual] Diary by WILSON, Mary [Harold Wilson] (1973)

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Author: WILSON, Mary [Harold Wilson]
Title: Mrs Wilson's [Actual] Diary
Year: 1973
Publisher: Nationwide Building Society
Place: London
Dust Jacket: No
Signed: Yes
Price: £950
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Added under Manuscripts  

Diary of Mary Wilson, wife of Harold Wilson, then Leader of the Opposition who became Prime Minister again the following year. Pre-printed diary, one double spread per week. 'M Wilson 5 Lord North St London SW1. 01 - 222 - 4949.' on verso of second blank, following two pages in which Mrs Wilson lists here charity roles in relation to the British Polio Fellowship, 'Launched fund for British Epilepsy Assn', National Poetry Fund etc. Mary Wilson's entries, the domestic and organisational notes of the wife of the Leader of the Opposition who became PM again the following year, are written regularly throughout the volume in several different pen colours together with occasional entries in Harold Wilson's hand - 'H to Leeds' (20 January)' The vast majority of the entries are domestic and family oriented, coordinating the couple's movements and activities: 'Poetry reading L'pool.' (13 Feb) on the day that as Labour leader 'H [goes] to Oxford'.

Money, food, gifts and small payments combine with public events 'Hair 10. Ld Chamberlain's dinner at Palace St J. 8' (27 Feb) - a week that ended with 'Cup Final'. The second week of April seems to have been particularly busy with 'Bl.[ack] tie Dinner No 10' on Monday, 'Prepare sp[eech]. for Barnsley' with the visit to Yorkshire on Tuesday and Wednesday and Mary Wilson ending the week as the Labour leader's consort with 'Dinner Mansion House' and the following morning alongside 'H to Czech... Take red hat and dr[ess]'

Lord Goodman makes regular appearances and there are longer passages written by Mary Wilson in shorthand - perhaps to shield from prying eyes. Mrs Wilson attended the unveiling of the Churchill statue on November 1, 1973 and the Cenotaph the following week. Just occasionally comes a little relief: 'Keep free'. Most interesting are the long lists of clothes and luggage to be taken on her many trips with Harold Wilson. These appear at the end of the volume, each item neatly ticked off. Trips include 'Oxford' with 'Lecture' at the head of the list, 'Manchester and Cumberland', 'Isle of Man', 'Cheltenham', 'Tony's Wedding' and the couple's beloved retreat, 'Scilly'.
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