Mary Wilson, who died in 2018 aged 102, was a poet and the wife of the Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson. She was the subject of the spoof ‘Mrs Wilson’s Diary’ in Private Eye.
The ‘Diary’ reflected her chafing at the role of political spouse – she thought her husband would continue to be an academic – and her willingness to differ from him in his support of the European Union and the nuclear deterrent. She left school at 16 for a secretarial course but would go on to publish two volumes of poetry. Her fellow Booker Prize judge Francis King recalled that Wilson had ‘the disadvantage of having read few novels in the course of her life – so that she was clearly puzzled when I referred to one of the submissions as “Kafkaesque”’.