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This Much Is True

By: Miriam Margolyes
Narrated by: Miriam Margolyes
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Publisher's Summary

From Blackadder to Call the Midwife, from the Cadbury's Caramel Rabbit to Harry Potter, Miriam Margolyes is the outspoken great aunt (after two sherries) we all wish we had - this is (at last) her extraordinary life story, and it's well worth the wait.

Award-winning actor, creator of a myriad of memorable characters from Lady Whiteadder to Professor Sprout, Miriam Margolyes is a national treasure. 

Now, at last, at the age of 80, she has finally decided to tell her extraordinary life story. And it's far richer and stranger than any part she's played. 

Find out how being conceived in an air-raid gave her curly hair; what pranks led to her being known as the naughtiest girl Oxford High School ever had; how she ended up posing nude for Augustus John aged 17, being sent to Coventry by Monty Python and the Goodies and swearing on University Challenge (she was the first woman to say f--k on TV). This book is packed with unforgettable stories from why Bob Monkhouse was the best (male) kiss she's ever had to being told off by the queen. With a cast list stretching from Scorsese to Streisand, Leonardo di Caprio to Isaiah Berlin, This Much Is True is as warm and honest, as full of life and surprises, as she is.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2021 Miriam Margolyes (P)2021 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

Critic Reviews

"There is no one on Earth quite so wonderful." (Stephen Fry) 

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wondeful, laugh-out-loud, and touching. And certainly honest.

I love Miriam. I saw her interview with Graham Norton, and listened to her appearance on Louis Theroux’s wonderful podcast. I worried that they might have shared all her best stories with Louis, but this was so enjoyable and so well written and there was *so* much more, and to hear her read by Miriam on Audible was an extra special treat. Yes, there are C-bombs and F-bombs so you won’t be disappointed on that front, but she also recounts very emotional moments with genuine and touching honesty. I see there’s 1 star review…I bet it’s from one of those Footlights guys (although she says Graham Garden apologised and I see there was an apology of sorts from Bill Oddie on Twitter). After listening to Miriam perform Bleak House I couldn’t shake that her prose was another Dickens. Until a C-bomb or a noshing off story shakes me out of my reverie. A great read/listen.

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15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Ben
  • 26-09-2021

Haute English

I tried and tried to listen to this, because I find Miriam quite funny on tv. But that overly correct English accent combined with stories that go on too long, with no real punchline. I just could not listen any longer and gave up on this book.
Sorry, not for me

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12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Delightful, revealing & fascinating

I have loved Miriam for years, for the unapologetically and refreshingly honest, funny, wise and smart person that she is, as well as for her acting (of course).

Now, after listening to her life’s story, shared through her own words and voice, I am also in absolute awe of her. I didn’t realise she had such an extensive catalogue of radio & voice-over experience before she expanded her theatre acting through to television and film acting.

Her mind bending ability to transform her voice into another person’s made this a multi-character performance. Her imitation of Dame Maggie Smith, Baz Luhrman and an American woman, with whom she had a fling, were among those that made me question if they had actually stepped into the recording studio.

Mind you, I shouldn’t be surprised. I saw her Melbourne performance of Dicken’s Women and in that she brought quite an impressive cast of characters onto the stage; whilst remaining within her own body!
(incidentally, I also met her afterwards. She’s always been so open, friendly and familiar that I forgot, that to her, I was a stranger. So, when we had our photo taken, I put my arm around her shoulders, embarrassing my friends in the process. However, she didn’t brush me away and was so lovely and accepting of my enthusiastic blunder. Thank you Miriam for your graciousness).

Back to the review. Miriam’s recollections of her personal and professional life is extensive, detailed, intimate, fascinating and full of colour, emotion, sincerity and wit. It is 100% Miriam. She pulls you in, jumping around the chapters in her life using themes, instead of chronology, as her guide. This makes it as unique and enthralling as the author herself.

In fact, it is 1:54am as I write this. I stayed awake to listen to the final chapters and now I’m typing away on a small mobile phone screen while my family sleeps.
I couldn’t wait to share my thoughts with others who might be considering this audio book. Go on, grab it!! You won’t be disappointed.

Thanks Miriam for being brilliant, beautiful, you and bringing so many beloved characters into our lives… with my favourite one being YOU.

Fiona Sproles - Nov 2021

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7 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Unpleasant and mean-spirited.

I was never a fan of Miriam Margoyles, but thought I'd give it a go. What a terrible decision.

The book is basically a list of people she met (whether the reader cares or not), places she's been to, people she's insulted (or farted at), men she's orally serviced (and there are a lot), houses she's bought, money she's made, wealth she's accumulated, and the list goes on. She manages to throw in a few crass stories - like the time she was (quite rightly) arrested for parking on double yellow lines, tearing up the parking ticket and insulting the policeman. She wears that story as a badge of honour! That really tells you all you need to know about this obnoxious person.

Margoyles manages to generalise in order to insult all the people of England, South Africa, Australia, Scotland, anyone who visits Auschwitz, and, breathtakingly, Israel - no mean feat for a woman who reminds us that she's Jewish every chance she gets. She also tells us that she's Jewish but is not religious. It's like me saying I'm Christian but I don't believe in God; I just have Christmas dinner once a year for fun.

Interestingly, she characterises ALL men (she tends to generalize throughout) as halfwits who only think from their trousers... but then waxes lyrical about endless men who she "misses dreadfully", who "remain my dear, dear friends" , who "are such wonderful, wonderful human beings" - you get the picture. Still schmoozing after 60 years in the business.

I struggled through most of it, but had to stop halfway through the horribly vitriolic political chapter. If I wanted to listen to that dribble, I'd watch PM Question Time. I don't necessarily disagree with some of her views - but the way she verbalises them is symptomatic of why moderate and right-wing politics are alive and well, and why many people on the left are often viewed as hysterical and nonsensical activists. Margoyles is particularly outraged in this section; perhaps the maid had taken the day off sick and Margoyles had to slice the lime for her own gin.

Speaking of this, for a 'hard left socialist', Margoyles certainly likes talking about the houses she owns, the wealth she's accumulated, how many times she's flown "First Class", and the sneaky ways she's managed to screw more money out of her employers.

I always suspected she was pretty unsavoury, but I was willing to give it a chance and see if my mind could be changed - after all, I've been wrong before (unlike Margoyles, according to the book). Alas, it merely strengthened my view that she's a name-dropper, a champagne socialist, a selfish, pompous and generally appalling and dreadful person. I wish I hadn't wasted my time and money on it. More fool me.

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6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wow What A Story-Life Miriam Has Led!

A MUST Read For Any FAN Of Miriam Maragoyles! She Is So Unique & A Truely Amazing Human Being! A Inspiration That's For Sure, A Great Read! A Read It In Two Days Too, Couldn't Stop Listening To Her Fascinating Life Story!

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5 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Very disappointing - and boring

I couldn’t listen to this. I was hoping the story would be funny and interesting but sadly it’s not and listening to the accent with constant reference to ‘Mummy’ was like nails down a blackboard.

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4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

long and not as funny as you would think

started of quiet amusing but was actually 15 hours of voicing opinions quite often varying. being rude about people and sounding like bully

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4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Absolutely outstanding 👏

Such an absolutely outstanding book, i could not stop listening, i highly recommended. Bravo Miriam.

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3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Not what was expected

Miriam appears to have had an extraordinary life but this book could have been halved and been more enjoyable. I know some people might find the tales of her 'su%$*&g people off' as interesting but after the 20th episode it gets boring. This together with her endless bagging people who she feels have slighted her was just annoying. The second half may have been better I just could not last past 8 hours - it was draining

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

If you're not a prude!! BRILLIANT!!

Mirriam had me enthralled, astonished, moved, laughing out loud and generally thoroughly entertained with every chapter. I will listen to this again and have just purchased Dickens' Women to enjoy her all over again!

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