Exceeding My Brief Memoirs of a Disobedient Civil Servant
From the tragic massacre at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games, to signing the Treaty of Rome when Britain entered the Common Market, Barbara Hosking was there.
This is the story of a Cornish scholarship girl with no contacts who ended up in the corridors of power. It is also the very personal story of her struggle with her sexuality as a bewildered teenager, and as a young woman in the 1950s, a time when being gay could mean social ostracism.
Born during the General Strike in 1926, Barbara Hosking worked her way through London’s typing pools in the 1950s to executive posts in the Labour Party, then to No. 10 as a press officer to Harold Wilson and Edward Heath. Between working on a copper mine in the African bush, pioneering British breakfast television and negotiating the complexities of government, hers has been a life of breadth and bravery.
This is Barbara Hosking’s unheard-of account of the innermost workings of politics and the media amid the turbulence of twentieth-century Britain.
Barbara writes with warmth and enthusiasm about politics and women, and her book is full of her mischievous Cornish personality.Baroness Boothroyd OM
Barbara Hosking wields a vivid pen sharpened by her keen eye for character, mood and episode. This is a memoir of true warmth and insight.Peter Hennessy
If ever a girl picked herself up, dusted herself down and started all over again, it is Barbara Hosking. This book fulfils an ambition at the age of ninety-one. What a girl! It is a frank, fascinating and sometimes moving tale of her progress from nether Cornwall to serving two Prime Ministers, becoming a ministerial private secretary and then working to raise the standing of women in public life.Sir Bernard Ingham
[A] warm, funny and illuminating book that guides readers through one woman’s journey down the corridors of Whitehall and through a slowly changing society. She did so at a time when being a woman and, in Barbara’s case, a gay woman meant the path was strewn with obstacles. It is a tribute to her guts, her resilience and her charm that she has emerged triumphant.Sue Cameron, Civil Service World
A remarkable tale, well told and often insightful. There don’t seem to be many Barbara Hoskings around anymore.The National
A timely arrival on to the crowded political memoir market […]Hosking is probably the most influential woman you’ve never heard of.The Tides of History
Share this book
Buy this book
- Hardback, 384 pages
- ISBN: 9781785903557
- 21 November 2017
- Paperback, 384 pages
- ISBN: 9781785904622
12 March 2019
Available to pre-order
- ISBN: 9781785903564
- 21 November 2017