Cheeky Miriam Margolyes spills all in ‘riotous romp’ of a memoir

Jan 09, 2022
Miriam Margolyes does not hold back as she narrates the candid stories of her extraordinary life. Image: Getty

Meet the real Miriam Margolyes OBE in this no-holds-barred memoir in This Much Is True. Narrated by the legend herself, this audiobook takes you on a joyous ride from her birth to the age of 80, which she calls the later years of her life.

The stories are totally candid, side-splittingly hilarious, and often at Margolyes’ own expense. There’s no embarrassment over her life mistakes because they are far too interesting.  How many people have been told to be quiet by the Queen?

One of Britain’s most prolific actors, Margolyes’ life has been full of the sort of adventures most folk long to experience and others that you definitely don’t! Her friends, including Barbara Streisand, Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio, are people that most of us only read about and their encounters are fascinating. This is the sort of audiobook that will make you giggle and stay up late until you finish listening to the whole chapter.

Audible is giving you the chance to listen to any audiobook you like for free as part of its 30-day free trial at audible.com.au. This fantastic offer means you can listen along to Margolyes as she reveals all in This Much is True.

Trapped in Tuscany

Produced while trapped in Tuscany due to COVID-19 restrictions in 2020, This Much Is True includes only the tales her lawyers allowed her to keep – and they have been generous. It is a riotous romp with so many hair-raising incidents it’s no wonder Margolyes’ hair is so curly.

Despite a request to the contrary from her lifelong partner of over 50 years, Australian-born Heather Sutherland, Margolyes’ memoir is downright dirty in parts. The filter Margolyes lacks on talk shows is once again missing in action. Still, it is all clothed in so much humour you can’t help just wondering and laughing along as she describes all her stories.

Writing her biography turned the “house arrest of COVID lockdown in Tuscany into an adventure”, says Margolyes.  It allowed her to remember all the people and experiences good and bad, naughty and nice over the past fourscore years. And by listening to her tell all her tales in her very own voice, it will make you feel like you were there all along.

Dark beginnings

Born in 1941 during the darkest days of WWII, Margolyes was an only child. Her early life was shaped by her parents’ expectations and her Jewish ancestry. Her mother was particularly class conscious at a time when social standing was significant and constantly tried to elevate her life.  It is a blessing she didn’t know everything Margolyes was up to!

However, it was an eccentric household, too, as her mother did the housework in the nude to make showering afterwards easier.

But Margolyes’ story begins much earlier with a glimpse of her grandparents’ life in the slums of Glasgow. Part of an emigration wave in the 1880s, they left Belarus for America but got no further than the first port of call.

The naughty schoolgirl

Her school and college years are quite hilarious. She remembers her teachers with amazing clarity retelling schoolyard tales with delightful accents and the sneering voice of a disliked teacher.

Margolyes’ naughty girl pranks led to her title as the ‘naughtiest gold Oxford High School ever had’. Naughty but never wicked is how Margolyes recalls her school days.  She is not and never has been a mean girl.

Still on a mission

Even at 80 years old, Margolyes still has a lot of things she wants to do. As befits this Patron of the Coffin Club, an educational platform that empowers people to take control of their final send off, this woman is happy to confront the things that other people avoid – and she’ll tell you all about it in her memoir.

Refreshingly, she is nowhere close to being done, and her career is still strong.  Hurtling towards “incontinence and immobility” (in her own words) has not slowed her down. Instead, she is overflowing in happiness courtesy of the friends she has made and kept over the years, including her beloved Heather.

Listening to all of Margolyes’ tales and stories in This Much Is True is like settling down with a cup of tea and some yummy biscuits with your favourite elderly aunt – the one that you’ve always thought had a few stories to tell with all the experiences she’s had. You’ll be so hooked you won’t want to stop listening!

Listen for free on Audible

Ready to hear all of Margolyes’ stories for yourself? Sign up for a 30-day free trial at audible.com.au. Choose This Much Is True, or any other audiobook when you download the app and you can listen to it for free.  You also have access to the Plus Catalogue, which includes a selection of thousands of Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks.

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What’s your favourite Miriam Margolyes memory?

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