Lord Beaverbrook was fundamentally a lonely man, with a low sense of his own self-worth, who was incapable of forming a stable, loving relationship with anyone. He could charm or he could bully; he could give or he could take; he was glad to see his guests arrive and pleased to see them go. Although many people genuinely loved him, he was incapable of believing that this was either possible or true. No wonder he was so restless, so impatient, so vindictive, so quick to lose his temper, so eager to stir things up.
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APADavid Cannadine Quotes. (n.d.). Jar of Quotes. Retrieved , from JarofQuotes.com Web site: https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=lord-beaverbrook-was-fundamentally-lonely-man-with-low-sense-his-own-selfworth-who-was-incapable-forming-stable-loving-relationship-with-anyone-david-cannadine
ChicagoDavid Cannadine Quotes. Jar of Quotes, 2019. https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=lord-beaverbrook-was-fundamentally-lonely-man-with-low-sense-his-own-selfworth-who-was-incapable-forming-stable-loving-relationship-with-anyone-david-cannadine, accessed .
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There are important arguments to be made about the relative merits of an hereditary or an elected head of state: but not at the level of the human frailties of particular monarchs or presidents. No one seriously contends that the American presidency should be abolished because Bill Clinton is a self-confessed adulterer. So why should the abolition of the British monarchy be contemplated because the same is true of Prince Charles?
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In the early 21st century, it is easy to condemn the Bond books for being racist and imperialist, sexist and misogynist, elitist and sadistic. But this is merely another way of saying that we cannot understand the Bond books without reference to the personality, the outlook and the 'Tory imagination' of the man who wrote them, and to the time in which he wrote them; and that we cannot understand the 1950s and 1960s without some reference to them, and to him.
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Cruel and paradoxical though it undoubtedly is, the record shows that yje most succesful 20th century monarchs have been those who were not actually born to succeed. King George VI was 41 when the abdication of Edward VIII propelled him suddenly and unexpectedly to take up the crown; and Queen Elizabeth II spent her first decade with no inkling thay she herself might one day have to reign. Taken together, these examples suggest that the best preparation for the job of sovereign is not to be prepared for it at all, ir not to be too well prepared for it, or for too long.
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For those who reject it, the Victorian experience is something to feel embarrassed about, to apologise for, to escape from, and never to repeat. But to those who remain enthralled, it is a fabulous story of oustanding success and splendid achievement, by comparison with which Britain's 20th century records seems at best unimpressive, and often distinctly lacklustre.
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Kitty Kelley's method, already perfected in her unauthorised and unflattering biographies of Frank Sinatra and Nancy Reagan, is to write bestsellers that take what she describes as an 'unblinking look' at their subjects - which might, of course, mean that her eyes are permanently open or permanently closed... the result is a work so bad that Britons cannot realise how fortunate they are in being unable to buy it. The great mistake with this book is not that it has been published in Britain, but that it has actually been published anywhere else.
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Royal relationships across the generations have often been strained and distant, rather than close and affectionate. Most eldest sons, interminably waiting to become king, have not been on the best of terms with the sovereign to whose death they look forward with a debilitating combination of guilt-ridden anxiety and eager anticipation. And younger sons (and daughters, too) have often found their lives empty of purpose: cut off by their royal statius, but unable to find anything rewarding with which to fill the time.
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Like sex, poverty and power, suicide may always be with us. But like them again, the actual form is takes is essentially time-specific and culture-bound, not only in the past but in the present too. The people who took their lives, the paths which led them to that end, and the experience of dying in this way were deeply influenced by specific historical circumstances. Only by making a greater effort at historical understanding can this most secret house of death be made to yield up more of its confidences.
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More attention should have been given to the fundamental transformation which took place during Queen Victoria's reign, from ruling sovereign to constitutional monarch. Again, gender mattered. If Albert had lived, it seems clear that he would have resisted that development much more tenaciously, which the gradual emasculation (and feminization) of monarchy was probably more easily accomplished when a woman was on the throne.
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David Irving has consistenly applied an evidential double standard, demanding absolute documentary proof to convict the Germans (as when he sought to show that Hitler was not responsible for the Holocaust), while relying on circumstantial evidence to condemn the British (as in his account of the Allied bombing of Dresden).
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Charitable endeavour exalts the prestige and the status of the giver. This may sound unduly cynical but as with all philantrophic activity, it is not easy to unravel the mutually reinforcing motives of selflessness and self-interest. All that can safely be said is that most members of the royal family have difficulty distinguishing between concern about society, concern about the social order and concern about what best to do so they can remain at the top of it.
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It is impossible not to be moved by the verve, courage and elan with Churchill attacked his last and ultimately invincible enemy, old age and infirmity. As in all his campaigns, he assailed his adversary with endless high spirits, expert advice, ample helpings of brandy and champagne, and the loving and long-suffering support of his wife.
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Scandal, it bears repeating, undermines monarchies, but rarely ends them. It may be true that, according to a recent editorial in the New York Times, the British monarchy now exists primarily 'for our amusement'. But as long as people find it amusing, and want to be amused by it, they will be happy to see it undermined but uneager to kill it off.
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Of all the memorable phrases that have been minted and mobilised to describe modern British royalty, 'constitutional monarchy' is virtually the only one which seemes to have neither been anticipated nor invented by Walter Bagehot. It was he who insisted that 'a princely marriage is the brilliant edition of a universal fact, and as such it rivets mankind'; and he who warned that the monarchy's 'mystery is its life. We must not let in daylight upon magic'.
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The older I get the more I'm convinced that it's the purpose of politicians and journalists to say the world is very simple, whereas it's the purpose of historians to say, 'No! It's very complicated.' The job of the historian is to help give people a sense of existence in time, without which we are really not fully human.
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