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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) 

What listeners say about This Much Is True

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Simply Brilliant

Quite simply the funniest, touching, warm and best delivery. Unfortunately I started to listen on a flight and kept bursting out in laughter which is a real pleasure. It also made me cry . A most excellent book that I will treasure and listen too again and again. I am also going to buy the hardback.

10 people found this helpful

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A Brilliant Delight

I’ve been a long time admirer of this total gem of an actor but had no idea the amazing life she has lead.

She gives us an astounding view into her history and how she came into herself. Frank honesty around
ups, downs, fears and strengths.

I haven’t listened to a book in ages and this captured me from start to finish. It felt like listening to an old friend.

8 people found this helpful

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This is a "must be listened to" book.

Miriam Margolyes, at 80, is as sharp as a tack. Her voice is strong and clear. Her ability to mimic and switch effortlessly into another accent is delightful. She loves to shock and boy ...she succeeded with this listener. But, because of her guilelessness, I found myself just going with it. Funny, sincere and forthright.

6 people found this helpful

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Meh

Having seen Miriam on large and small screens I have enjoyed her work and talent. I also saw her and talk shows and found her to be interesting and yes, racy and funny.
I found the book to at times be interesting and enjoyed several chapters about her early life, her political views, and her acting. However I also found too much of the book to be gratuitously pornographic. I think she loves the attention she gets from her shocking language and way too graphic stories. I ended up skipping far too many chapters, more than half the book because they were boring and unnecessary. I should have returned the book early on.

5 people found this helpful

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Absolutely brilliant

Thoroughly enjoyable & now that I have finished it, feel like starting from the beginning again!

5 people found this helpful

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I love Miriam!

If you love her on Graham Norton, her book is a must! If you have loved Miriam in movies and plays, this is for you. If you are faint of heart, you might have to overlook her use of some words but in my opinion, it just makes her all the more entertaining! Miriam is a delight and I hope to share this planet with her for a long time to come. Bravo Miriam! Congratulations on a wonderful autobiography.

5 people found this helpful

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what a hoot!

Meriam Margolres is a name I did not know, except as Professor Sprout in the Harry Potter series. Then as a Seth Meyers' fan I saw her a couple of weeks ago talking about her book. (I hope I put the apostrophe in the right place, Meriam) I was hooked as soon as she opened her mouth. I immediately bought both the Kindle and Audible editions and let her tell her story as I read along. Being from Guam, I was not familiar with many of the British personalities and films she described, but I constantly paused my reading to look them up on line. it was been a delightful two weeks spending time with Meriam and her friends, and I feel as if I've gained a new friend in Meriam, too.

4 people found this helpful

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This is a "Must Have" selection if you like Miriam

What makes a truly wonderful selection even better is she reads the selection herself.

4 people found this helpful

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Straight from the Heart...No Filter!

A person that I have seen and enjoyed in many television programs but knew little about. Ms. Margolis gives an unabashed tour of her life with wit and honesty that few possess.

3 people found this helpful

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Does not disappoint..

Loved it. I have to say, you never disappoint! Very candid and beautifully written!

2 people found this helpful

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  • John C. Patterson
  • 09-23-21

Frank & Funny

When it comes to Miriam Margoyles I think you know you are going to get the pure unadulterated truth…probably with a heavy dose of humour, charm and “bad language” (I loathe that term!)
This book is frank and entertaining. Miriam starts, as one would expect, at the very beginning and works her way through her life…from Stage to Screen, from home life to University life…to life in general. It never meanders and is always entertaining. She pours scorn on those who have hurt or upset her as well as those who have hurt or upset others. Miriam has been blessed with charm & humour and always uses both to great effect.
If you are a fan of Miriam Margoyles’s work then it’s a must have…if you’re not a fan then it’s probably not for you but I would STILL urge you to give it a listen! Oh and whilst we’re on the subject of listening…I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who would prefer to read a biography rather than listen to it but when the subject is such a wonderful raconteur then I’d definitely suggest the audiobook!

93 people found this helpful

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  • Lumpen-Doodle
  • 09-20-21

Unabridged in every way!

I never though of myself as a prude, but lordy, Miriam does not hold back.

Her life has been full, and our Miriam was certainly a ‘handful’ even in her youth.

The book is honest, forthright, and a wonderful read, and read wonderfully. Just remember to use your earbuds while listening.

If I was to make a criticism, and I’m loath to do so, I felt the book sort of bobbed about a little bit. But in truth, I would not want a word or nuance changed.

An amazing and talented woman.

75 people found this helpful

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  • Sharon
  • 09-20-21

One of my favourite audiobooks...

I am half way through listening to Miriam Margolyes reading her wonderful book via Amazon Audible: This Much is True. I couldn't wait until the end to share what an amazing listen this is. It is one of the best audiobook experiences I have had and all the more special for the accompanying PDF with wonderful photographs. It is a rich tapestry of Miriam's life and I highly recommend it. Thank you Miriam for sharing. x

52 people found this helpful

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  • Deb
  • 09-18-21

Really enjoy it.

This lady does not sound 80 years old. She is a funny, kind, no nonsense person. She has had a very interesting career and life and is one of the best actresses about today. Enjoyed the gossip not the wind comments but extremely well narrated and well written. I loved it.

51 people found this helpful

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  • Amelia
  • 09-24-21

Couldn't finish

I really wanted this autobiography to be an incredible listen however I was left feeling underwhelmed. There were definitely some funny moments but this book really could have done with some editing. MM repeats about how she believes she is fat, 'roly poly' etc constantly and it becomes very grating very fast. There is also some language that is outdated and a large part of the book to me seems like snobbery and ranting that did not add to the overall story. I think that this could have been a great book if it was edited and the timeline didn't skip about erratically.

49 people found this helpful

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  • Jim
  • 10-21-21

An unpleasant person

Before listening to this audio book I rather liked Miriam Margolyes but now I think she’s a narrow minded rather unpleasant woman who uses bad language to shock. I wish I hadn’t bothered.

48 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 10-07-21

Couldn’t finish it

I thought she seemed interesting and that I would enjoy the book, I was wrong, she comes across as a complete snob and she made some strange comments about straight men and non Jewish children. It became an endless loop of stories about being fat, Jewish and a lesbian with a few fart stories thrown in

43 people found this helpful

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  • C. Dawson
  • 09-30-21

Lost me

Sadly, this lady was wonderfully entertaining and a thoroughly enjoyable listen: until.
Until, she revealed her care taken not to swear in front of Daniel Radcliffe, as he was a nice Jewish boy, but didn’t care about the other children.
Please.

Why make this divisive?
Why treat people without care if they don’t share your religious heritage?
Why?

43 people found this helpful

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  • Alan R
  • 09-22-21

Believe the hype!

I have not enjoyed an audiobook as much as I have this one in years - if ever.

By turns heart-warming, heart-breaking and hysterically funny.

I made the "mistake" of listening to this on a bus, headphones and face mask on (still mandatory on public transport in sensible Scotland) and laughed and sniggered throughout my journey.

An excellent biography, very well performed.

Highly recommended.

35 people found this helpful

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  • Tracey
  • 09-19-21

Love this woman, love this book.

I’m only a few chapters in, and I already know that I’m entertained. This pocket rocket of a woman has filled her 80 years with a as much gusto as 3 women could only strive for.
Brilliance and perfect diction. Such a treat. Mummy would be proud Miriam 👌🏼

29 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-19-21

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.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-26-21

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

11 people found this helpful

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  • Fiona
  • 11-13-21

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

7 people found this helpful

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  • Trev
  • 09-20-21

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!

5 people found this helpful

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  • Bob
  • 02-12-22

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.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Jo Wallace
  • 01-04-22

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.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-19-21

Absolutely outstanding 👏

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

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-16-22

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

2 people found this helpful

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  • Nicolette
  • 11-17-21

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!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Sarah McNeela
  • 10-21-21

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

2 people found this helpful