Peggy was born in the mid-west state of Minnesota. As one of nine children, she was raised to be self-sufficient and skilled in as many ways as possible: in a household of that size, everyone had to help out and make themselves useful.
She claims there was no hardship in that experience; rather, it has made her adaptable. She has applied herself to many jobs and roles over the years, all of them eventually inspiring creative expression of some sort. Peggy writes and cooks every day.
While running a small-holding she quickly realized that she could no longer participate in animal husbandry and adopted a vegetarian diet. Very soon she moved on to a fully plant-based way of eating.
‘I have been through every pre-vegan style of eating and thinking,’ Peggy says, ‘and have faced most of the hurdles to achieving a healthy, plant-based diet. I know my onions.’ She has been vegan for more than thirty years. She recalls:
‘Veganism was a forbidden word in many of my earlier books. The food was plant-based, but the publishers insisted the word was not used for fear no one would try the food! Now that it is fashionable, I would like to help people prepare vegan food that is wholesome and to learn that ‘white bread and jam’ veganism is not the way forward.’
The Contented Vegan
“An essential cookbook for January and beyond”
"The Contented Vegan is a peek into my life in many ways. People are always asking me for tips, suggestions and guidance about how their food choices can solve problems. My book includes recipes but these are in the context of offering a broader understanding of a plant-based diet: its relevance to nutrition and health, to life stages, ethics and the environment. When these elements are brought together, the result really is a contented vegan. One who feels both empowered by and at ease with their choices."
“Peggy goes into a lot of detail about veganism… I find it fascinating!”
Rick Stein on Channel Four’s Sunday Brunch
'The Contented Vegan makes a great kitchen companion'
People’s Friend Magazine
And What Do You Do?
What The Royal Family Don't Want You To Know
"A clear-eyed assessment of our royal family"
The Daily Telegraph
The royal family: the quintessential British institution or an antiquated, overindulged drain on the taxpayer?
For all their foibles and idiosyncrasies, the royal family wield considerable influence and yet rather than facing the scrutiny their position merits, they enjoy sickeningly obsequious coverage which reports their activities with breathless awe.
And What Do You Do? is a provocative and hard-hitting analysis, exposing the royals extravagant use of public money and the highly dubious behaviour of some among their number. Former Minister of State and current Privy Counsellor Norman Baker breaks ranks to explore the wider role the royals play in society, including the link with House of Lords reform and the constitutional position of the monarch.
Now fully updated to include new material on Prince Andrew, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, this irreverent and uncompromising account asks urgent questions about the future of the world s most famous royal family.
“Norman Baker brilliantly exposes how a Ruritanian farce is ripping us off. Vive la British revolution!”
“A clear-eyed assessment of our royal family, looking at its strengths, weaknesses and eccentricities. Parts of Norman Baker’s well-researched book will make for uncomfortable reading for some die-hard royal fans, but it should become an important text for anyone who cares about our monarchy and wants to see it reform and evolve to face head on the challenges of the twenty-first century.”
Christopher Hope, chief political correspondent and assistant editor, Daily Telegraph
“They are the pinnacle of privilege, leading enviably gilded lives, but how much do we really know of the royal family’s cosy, taxpayer-funded existence? Norman Baker goes behind palace walls to shine a much-needed light on this most secretive of institutions and expose the greed, hypocrisy and, yes, disregard for public money which keeps it afloat. Filled with fascinating detail and insight, And What Do You Do? is an essential primer for understanding the myth of modern royalty.”
Richard Kay, royal writer for the Daily Mail
“With our democracy in turmoil, it’s right to be asking questions about constitutional reform, and that includes the role of the royal family. Norman Baker tackles the subject with his trademark energy and in forensic detail looking at the facts beyond the headlines. An important book for anyone serious about questioning how our country is run.”
Caroline Lucas MP
“Norman Baker is a fiercely independent writer and former Lib Dem MP and government minister who speaks his mind and goes where others fear to tread. After probing the mysterious death of Dr Kelly after the Iraq War, he now turns his attention to the public costs of the royal family, based on careful research and facts rather than sentiments or prejudice.”
Sir Vince Cable MP
Against the Grain
"A glorious book by a remarkable man"
“Norman Baker at his best – contemptuous of power and secrecy, delightfully indiscreet, pleasingly insulting and often very funny. A maverick’s guide to politics.”
Nick Davies, The Guardian
“Quirky, single-minded and always true to himself, Norman Baker is a true original. Against The Grain is a one-man rebuke to the soulless spin of spin.”
Nick Clegg, former Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
“This is a glorious book by a remarkable man. It should be read by everyone who cares about British public life. It tells the story of an extraordinary political journey as Norman Baker confronted the British establishment at its most corrupt.”
Peter Oborne, The Daily Mail
Norman has been a tireless – and effective – campaigner for many
prominent causes. He has been a member of the Joint Committee on Human Rights, and was appointed Liberal Democrat Environment spokesman where he negotiated a cross-party Early Day Motion in support of a Climate Change Bill drafted by Friends of the Earth. He was for many years President of the Tibet Society and was a member of the UK All Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet.
As a Home Office minister, he repeatedly campaigned for changes to drug policy, saying that patients should have access to cannabis for cancer pain relief and multiple sclerosis. He was also responsible for forcing some of the first prosecutions in the UK under the Female Genital Mutilation Act.
Norman’s dogged questioning of Secretary of State Peter Mandelson following accusations of using his position to influence a passport application led to Mandelson’s second resignation from government. He also successfully forced disclosure of the details of MPs’ expenses under the Freedom of Information Act.
Norman successfully went to the High Court to compel British security service MI5 to allow him access to information which he believed they held on him – the first time this had happened in the 92-year history of MI5.
In recognition of his relentless and fruitful campaigning, The Spectator magazine gave him their Inquisitor of the Year award and Channel 4 News voted him their Opposition Politician of the Year.