Edna Healey, the wife of the Labour politician Denis Healey, was a writer of non-fiction books who memorably said of Mrs Thatcher: ‘She has no hinterland; in particular she has no sense of history.’

Healey, who died in 2010, was the daughter of a crane driver and met her future husband at Oxford. She worked first as a teacher before devoting herself to the role of political wife, and only turned to writing in middle life. Her 1978 life of the heiress and philanthropist Angela Burdett-Coutts, Lady Unknown, became a bestseller. Denis Healey thought Edna a much better public speaker than he was and she made two acclaimed television documentaries, though she lamented that: ‘Somehow the thing that’s in my head is never matched by what’s on the paper.’