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Margaret Roberts Essay

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Margaret Roberts attended Huntingtower Road Primary School and won a scholarship to Kesteven and Grantham Girls' School.[6] Her school reports showed hard work and continual improvement; her extracurricular activities included the piano, field hockey, poetry recitals, swimming and walking.[7][8] She was head girl in 1942–1943. In her upper sixth year she applied for a scholarship to study chemistry at Somerville College, Oxford, but she was initially rejected and was offered a place only after another candidate withdrew.[10][11] Roberts arrived at Oxford in 1943 and graduated in 1947 with Second-Class Honours in the four-year Chemistry Bachelor of Science degree, specialising in X-ray crystallography under the supervision of Dorothy Hodgkin.[12][13]…show more content…
She was influenced at university by political works such as Friedrich von Hayek's The Road to Serfdom (1944), which condemned economic intervention by government as a precursor to an authoritarian state.[19] After graduating, Roberts moved to Colchester in Essex to work as a research chemist for BX Plastics.[20] In 1948 she applied for a job at ICI, but was rejected after the personnel department assessed her as "headstrong, obstinate and dangerously self-opinionated".[21] Roberts joined the local Conservative Association and attended the party conference at Llandudno in 1948, as a representative of the University Graduate Conservative Association.[22] One of her Oxford friends was also a friend of the Chair of the Dartford Conservative Association in Kent, who were looking for candidates.[22] Officials of the association were so impressed by her that they asked her to apply, even though she was not on the Conservative party's approved list: she was selected in January 1951, at age twenty-five, and added to the approved list post ante.[23] At a dinner following her formal adoption as Conservative candidate for Dartford in February 1951 she met Denis Thatcher, a successful and wealthy divorced businessman, who drove her to her Essex train.[22][23] In preparation for the election Roberts moved to Dartford, where she supported herself by working as a research chemist for J. Lyons and Co. in
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