Shirley Robin Letwin

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Shirley Robin Letwin (17 February 1924 – 19 June 1993) was an American academic who lived in London.[1][2]


Early life[edit]

Shirley Robin Letwin was born in Chicago, Illinois.[1][2] Her family were Jewish immigrants from Kiev.[3][1][2] She graduated from the University of Chicago, where she was taught by Friedrich Hayek, and did graduate studies at the London School of Economics.[1][2] She decided to move to England permanently in 1965.


She taught at LSE and at Peterhouse, a college of the University of Cambridge, in the 1970s.[2] She wrote many books about conservatism, and one book about Anthony Trollope.[4]

She met Margaret Thatcher through her friend Keith Joseph, and started working for her.[1] She also worked for the Centre for Policy Studies.[1] She was also close to Michael Oakeshott and later became his literary executor.[1][2] In 1987, she gave a lecture at the Centre for Independent Studies in Sydney, Australia.[2]

Personal life[edit]

She was married to William Letwin.[1] They had one son, Oliver Letwin.[1][2][5][6] They lived in London, in a house overlooking Regent's Park.[1] She was an avid tennis player, and once played with Milton Friedman despite the fact that it was snowing.[1]


  • The Gentleman in Trollope: individuality and moral conduct (1982)
  • On the History of the Idea of Law
  • The Pursuit of Certainty: David Hume, Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill and Beatrice Webb
  • The Anatomy of Thatcherism (1992)