5 Nov 2009
litotes (anag) Ha-ha! V. non-U.
Yr linked article (with hilarious comments from react, Hugh and Esmé) reminded me of the story of Winston Churchill, when PM, being told in hushed, serious tones by a male secretary that a senior Tory MP had been arrested the previous night, after having been found in flagrante with a guardsman in St James's Park. "What! On one of the coldest nights of the year... Makes you proud to be British."
6 Nov 2009
John M. J.
With a guardsman! How very......ordinary.
Scandal, as Sir Winston so correctly identified, should be extraordinary, not commonplace.
Had I lived in that day and age I would have been caught in flagrante delicto (as it were) with one of Churchill's 'Great Contemporaries' (Thornton Butterworth; London, 1937), a giraffe, two gibbons, three pounds of crystallised tripe (don't ask), Lady Astor and, of course, Horatio Bottomley (for obvious reasons).
But there is no style to scandal anymore - leastways not since Anne Louise Germaine pegged out in 1817; but then she was a rare breed, a Holstein if I remember correctly, and such cattle are not for the likes of you, or me. Didn't her 'Constant' lover marry a von Hardenburg - strangely appropriate giiven the copious letters of Fanny Burney.
Ah, but I pun too much. Forgive me, I am beginning to read like our dear poster, Reactionry.
6 Nov 2009
John, I - hugh-n-nabokov-like - never let slip the opportunity to mention Christian Science (or Morris & Tilly Lichtenstein's Jewish Science, Quivering Brethren, Peculiar People, Hicksite Quakers, Southcottians, Muggletonians &c)).
Astor was one of the leading lights in the small but influential number of - mostly British and German - aristocratic aherents in the early C20.
First Church of Christ, Scientist, Canterbury was the oldest (C14 poss C15) CS church in the world. Astor gifted it to the congregation iin perpetuity, It stood on land beloonging to the Astor family.
Two other coincidences (probably beknownst to your subconscious: Yr friend Horatio and Astor were sworn enemies - she expressed much un-Christianly Scientific Shadenfreude at his downfall.
Her son Bobbie (sp!) was arrested - in the early 1930s - on similar charges to to those of the Senior Tory MP of Freezing St James's Park fame. She was less perturbed by this than one would have expected. (He committed suicide a few years after her death.)
She was an aunt of Joyce Grenfell's. Astor died a bit of a lonely old bat in 1962 (mildly racist, anti-semitic, anti-catholic and anti-alcohol).