Hak has a nice story about the fall of Thatch. I remember spending a day at work singing “Ding dong, the witch is dead!”

I’m pleased that the Wikipedia entry about her corrects the strangely widespread myth that she achieved a Double First at Oxford. The truth is she collected a Desmond—and I think we can safely say her performance wasn’t the result of her spending her evenings indulging in rock’n’roll debauchery or paralysed by feelings of self-doubt. Ronald Reagan was probably cleverer—and that isn’t meant as a backhanded insult, just a sober, at-a-distance estimate. Reagan was no fool; Thatcher’s foolishness was her undoing.

UPDATE: It’s been correctly pointed out in the comments that Thatcher couldn’t have collected a 2:ii because that degree classification wasn’t used when Thatcher was examined. I do distinctly remember reading Dorothy Hodgkin (Thatcher’s part two supervisor) damning Thatch with faint praise when asked to assess her former student’s intellectual abilities—and they liked each other. Since my own tutors’ assessment of me as an undergraduate varied from mostly “Let’s just send him down now and save ourselves the trouble later” to one (foolishly) betting on my getting a First, this probably isn’t very helpful either.