When Margaret Thatcher unexpectedly emerged to challenge Edward Heath for the Conservative leadership in 1975, the public knew her only as an archetypal Home Counties Tory Lady, more famous for her hats than for any outstanding talent: she had a rich businessman husband, sent her children to the most expensive private schools, owned houses in Kent and Chelsea and sat in Parliament for Finchley. As Education Secretary she had made the headlines by cutting the provision of school milk; but she had voiced no crititism of the policies which led to Heath's defeat. no-one for a moment imagined that she would be Heath's successor, far less go on to become one of the most dominant Prime Ministers of the century. Yet almost overnight she reinvented herself. Journalists who set out to discover where she came from were amazed to find that she had grown up above a grocers's shop in Grantham. Within weeks of her becoming Tory leader an entirely new image was in place, based around the now famous corner shop beside the Great North Road; the strict Methodist upbringing; and her father, the stern but saintly Alderman Roberts, who taught her the 'Victorian values'-thrift, temerence, self-reliance patriotism and duty which were the foundation of her career.