John Campbell

John Campbell has been a freelance political biographer for thirty years. Born in 1947, he was educated at Edinburgh University where he studied Politics and Modern History (MA 1970) and did a Ph.D on Lloyd George in the 1920s under Paul Addison (1975). This became his first book, Lloyd George: The Goat in the Wilderness ( Cape 1977), which won second prize in the Yorkshire Post award for the best first book of that year.

Since then his subjects have become progressively more contemporary under the pressure of publishing with no salaried position. A big biography of F.E.Smith, First Earl of Birkenhead ( Cape 1983) was followed by a short interim life of Roy Jenkins (Weidenfeld 1983), then by Nye Bevan and the Mirage of British Socialism (Weidenfeld 1986). His biography of Edward Heath ( Cape 1993) won the 1994 NCR Book Award for Non-Fiction, after which he was persuaded to take on his biggest subject which eventually emerged in two volumes: Margaret Thatcher: The Grocer’s Daughter (Cape 2000) and Margaret Thatcher: The Iron Lady (Cape 2003). He has now gone back to his first love to write a book on Lloyd George’s relationship with Frances Stevenson, his secretary, mistress and eventual second wife, which should appear in 2006.

He also edited The Experience of World War II (Harrap 1989) and a series of short biographies, Makers of the Twentieth Century (Cardinal 1990-91). He was a regular book reviewer for The Times and other papers during the 1980s and still reviews periodically for The Independent and the TLS, as well as occasional other journalism.

He lives in London and devotes much of his spare time to directing (and occasionally acting in) amateur theatre.