By Michael Brock, Eleanor Brock
Margot Asquith was once the spouse of Herbert Henry Asquith, the Liberal best Minister who led Britain into conflict in August 1914. Asquith's early struggle management drew compliment from all quarters, yet in December 1916 he used to be pressured from place of work in a palace coup, and changed via Lloyd George, whose occupation he had performed rather a lot to advertise. Margot had either the literary presents and the vantage element to create, in her diary of those years, a compelling list of her husband's fall from grace. She as soon as defined herself as 'a type of political clairvoyant', yet she didn't expect the premier's fall, and it really is for her candour, no longer her clairvoyance, that the diary is efficacious.
Margot used to be either a spectator of, and a player in, the occasions that she describes, and in public affairs may be an best friend or a humiliation - occasionally either. Her diary inspires the wartime milieu, as skilled in 10 Downing road, and describes the nice political battles that lay in the back of the battle at the Western entrance. Her writing teems with personality sketches, together with these of Lloyd George ('a typical adventurer who might make or mar himself any day'), Churchill ('Winston's self-importance is septic'), and Kitchener ('a guy brutal by means of nature and by way of pose'). Witty and worldly, Margot additionally possessed a childlike vulnerability: 'This is the 84th day of the conflict' she wrote in October 1914, 'and talking for myself i haven't felt an analogous individual in view that. i do not suggest to assert i've got stronger! at the contrary...'.
This quantity brings jointly a wealth of previously-unpublished resource fabric with an introductory essay from Michael and Eleanor Brock, of the best specialists within the box. it will be very important analyzing for somebody with an curiosity within the heritage of global warfare I or in British politics of the time.
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Extra info for Margot Asquith's Great War Diary 1914-1916: The View from Downing Street
262–3, 284; diary, d. 3217, fos 213–14. Margot’s remarks about Helen should be read in the light of Clifford, Asquiths, 6–23, 32–5. Helen’s letters to Asquith are in Bonham Carter Papers, Bodleian Library, 623–35. 1 2 xxxix in t roduc t ion figure 2 The Asquith family and friends at Glen, Easter 1904. Left to right: Elizabeth Asquith, H. H. Asquith, Olive MacLeod (standing at back), Margot Asquith (seated, foreground), Katharine Horner (seated in profile), Violet Asquith (seated at back), H. T.
1894. 2 For Margot’s remark to the Duchess of Devonshire about marrying a Prime Minister see Autobiography, i. 145. 3 Off the Record, 96. 4 Churchill, Great Contemporaries, 137. xxxvii in t roduc t ion A junior barrister of this era would be thought particularly unwise to stand for Parliament, because he was expected to be available in court at any time—MPs were not then paid a salary—and it had thus been risky for Asquith to enter the Commons in 1886 before he had taken silk. That bold step was nevertheless rewarded when a brilliant cross-examination during the proceedings of the Parnell Commission in 18891 enabled him to become a QC the following year, with appropriately higher earning potential.
Baker, 25 Aug. 1901: Jolliffe, Raymond Asquith, 82. xxxiii in t roduc t ion franchise reforms of 1884–5, which were in operation until 1918, the electorate of the United Kingdom was expanded and reorganized so that it would include some three-fifths of adult males, arranged in constituencies largely of the single-member type. 1 Seen in conjunction with the birth of a popular press, which would soon cater to the needs of a mass readership that owed its literacy to the passage of the 1870 Education Act,2 the new system was expected to strengthen the radical elements in both parties.
Margot Asquith's Great War Diary 1914-1916: The View from Downing Street by Michael Brock, Eleanor Brock