"Le Quotidien de Paris...permitted itself to speak of this political leader in terms it could not have begun to employ about a man, even one it admired to distraction. Mrs Thatcher, it said, should not be called the Iron Lady, 'for that metal is too vile, too obscure'. She was, instead, 'a woman of uranium, with peculiar irradiations. Compared to her, how leaden appear most of our leaders, opaque masses of flesh, austere fortresses without windows, save for the loopholes of deceit and the skylights of hidden pride*. Power corrupts a man but liberates a woman and reveals her for what she is.'"
Of course, being radioactive is not reckoned on the whole to be a good thing. But love her or loathe her, she was clearly an extraordinary creature.
Perhaps one would expect the French to have perceived her in such sexually mythic terms. Besides sex being one of their special subjects (as is power), they may have had a more heightened appreciation of this aspect as their view wasn't occluded by the British obsession with social class. That is, their view was not prejudiced by what a rather frenzied Jonathan Miller once described as her 'odious suburban gentility'.
There's also Mitterand's notorious comment that she had 'the lips of Caligula and eyes of Marilyn Monroe' (lips of Caligula? Never really understood that one, but then I'm not a classicist). On the other hand, Alan Clark's lust-inflected musings are also on record. But then, in so many ways and despite his nationalism, he was no typical Englishman.
I think as time goes by we'll appreciate more and more the very real strangeness of Margaret Thatcher. That is not just her historical but also her personal uniqueness - in a word, her charisma. Boudicca and Elizabeth I are the only comparable figures.
I predict an historical and literary interest in her long after all her contemporaries - with the exception of Churchill - have been forgotten. I say literary for, as with the Icenian and Virgin Queens, the novelists and playwrights will have almost as much to say as the historians, Alan Hollingsworth's 'The Line of Beauty' being one of the first notable essays in this direction. And I don't believe this is a partisan comment in any way: loving or loathing her is really beside the point.
* A disturbingly apposite description of our current Prime Minister, the Bulbous Marauder, don't you think?