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Margaret Thatcher authorized two-volume biography

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Gerald Penny/AP

(Read caption) Margaret Thatcher was the first female prime minister of Britain and the longest-serving British leader of the 20th century.

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Margaret Thatcher authorized a biography to be published after her death. The first volume, "Not for Turning," has been written by author Charles Moore and will be released soon.

Thatcher commissioned the biography in 1997 and gave Moore access to many of her papers, as well as granting him exclusive interviews, said the biography's publisher, Penguin Books.

Allen Lane, an imprint of Penguin, will publish the first of two volumes in the biography immediately after Thatcher’s funeral, which is scheduled for April 17. Moore is still working on the second volume, which will be titled “Herself Alone.” The two volumes together will be titled “Margaret Thatcher: The Authorized Biography.”

“Charles Moore’s biography of Margaret Thatcher immediately supersedes all earlier books written about her,” Allen Lane publishing director Stuart Profitt said in a statement. “I was astonished at how much Moore says which has never been public before.... It gives unparalleled insight into her early life and formation, especially through her extensive correspondence with her sister, which Moore is the first author to draw on.”

Moore is a former editor for the Daily Telegraph. According to Penguin, Thatcher had not read his manuscript before her death.

Moore’s work isn’t the only examination of Thatcher that will be arriving in bookstores. A book by her speechwriter, Robin Harris, is also scheduled to come out later in April. Meanwhile, sales of Thatcher’s memoirs skyrocketed following her death, with Amazon estimating that sales of her book “The Downing Street Years” rose more than 100,000 percent.

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