Who's up for a metaphor?

Use them wisely, use them well

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thecoppercow asked: Have you seen the latest Chris Bryant thing in the Times diary? i just read it and felt it might tickle you - I think you're one of the few people on here who gets his strange and trollish charm...

Ooooh, no, I was unaware it even existed! But I’m not a subscriber, so I never know how to read anything that’s behind a paywall. Thanks for letting me know though.

Strange and trollish he indeed is, though as anyone who follows him on twitter can attest, the level of charm varies greatly—I went to a panel that he was on during Parliament Week last year (I was mostly there for Mary Beard, but he was a bonus) and things got perilous when it looked like he was seriously going to start arguing with the women on the panel that, as a gay man, he was the victim of more online abuse…

168 notes

Librarian, Needing a

iworkatapubliclibrary:

I was in the stacks, helping a patron find a book when I was alarmed to hear someone shouting from across the library.

Man [voice at full volume]: “WE NEED A LIBRARIAN IN HERE!!”

Thinking it had to be an emergency, I immediately left my patron and ran toward the voice, seeing many concerned…

Filed under omg libraries

15 notes

Peel was the heir to a vast cotton-spinning fortune (Hurd tells us he was worth £22 million in modern terms), and he built himself a luxurious but over-the-top country mansion at Drayton Manor in Staffordshire. (It was demolished when the family ran out of money and is now a theme park.) Peel never rid himself of his northern accent. The waspish diarist Charles Greville thought he looked like a fat shopkeeper, and noticed him greedily stuffing himself and cutting creams and jellies with a knife.

"Can he really have been that flawless?", a review of Douglas Hurd’s Robert Peel: A Biography| The Telegraph

——

"The waspish diarist Charles Greville thought he looked like a fat shopkeeper, and noticed him greedily stuffing himself and cutting creams and jellies with a knife." Oh Peel. Now I see where the Duke of Wellington was coming from when he said "I have no small talk, and Peel has no manners. ” 

(via theironduchess)

Disraeli used to send up Peel’s accent, in particular how he would “poot” a question and say “woonderful” instead of “wonderful”.  Peel’s family background may not have been genteel but as AN Wilson points out in The Victorians, accent snobbery and insistence on received pronunciation were largely mid-nineteenth century innovations.  In earlier decades it wasn’t unusual for upper class people to speak with regional accents. 

(via velvethatlady)

Diz was a total accent snob (he made fun of Gladstone’s accent too!) which is weird bc his own accent was apparently obnoxiously fussy—the only references I can find to it are reports that he managed to fit 3 syllables into business & 4 into parliament. D made some comment somewhere about the 15th Earl of Derby’s ‘Lancashire patois’…and Derby was one of his only friends! (To say nothing of the fact that, accent or not, Derby was certainly of a much higher social class than the faux-aristocrat mocking his speech…) though I think the oddest accent story is the fact that Lord John Russell apparently had a VERY archaic accent & pronounced cucumber ‘cowcumber’.

Basically I want to go back in time with a tape recorder and hear how people actually spoke in the 1840s.

(via theironduchess)

15 notes

Peel was the heir to a vast cotton-spinning fortune (Hurd tells us he was worth £22 million in modern terms), and he built himself a luxurious but over-the-top country mansion at Drayton Manor in Staffordshire. (It was demolished when the family ran out of money and is now a theme park.) Peel never rid himself of his northern accent. The waspish diarist Charles Greville thought he looked like a fat shopkeeper, and noticed him greedily stuffing himself and cutting creams and jellies with a knife.

"Can he really have been that flawless?", a review of Douglas Hurd’s Robert Peel: A Biography| The Telegraph

——

"The waspish diarist Charles Greville thought he looked like a fat shopkeeper, and noticed him greedily stuffing himself and cutting creams and jellies with a knife." Oh Peel. Now I see where the Duke of Wellington was coming from when he said "I have no small talk, and Peel has no manners. ” 

(via theironduchess)

Somewhere I’ve got a whole page of quotes from Hurd’s book written out longhand where people are talking about how awkward Peel is. Hurd’s pretty easy on him though, I’ve seen other biographies that spend page after page quoting Peel’s contemporaries describing his icy aloofness. (The fact that Wellington calls him ‘crotchety’ is pretty telling—probably the only instance I can think of an older man applying the epithet to a younger one.)

of course the best part of Douglas Hurd’s book is he spends a page and a half talking about how Robert Peel reminds him of EDWARD HEATH—just a few weeks ago, I was reading something else where Gladstone was describing Peel’s sulkiness, so now I’m not going to be able to think of him as anything other than a 19th century Ted (except less toothy & more ginger). I guess this makes the Corn Laws the era’s equivalent to the EEC? Probably best not to push that analogy too far, though both broke Conservative party bases—the difference is that the effect was delayed with Europe, the initial opposition coming from the left of Labour until it was later overtaken by the future UKIPers

(via hollenius)

What a coincidence! I once copied out half a page of Hurd’s book to make a Wellington post (here). That Heath reference did strike me as particularly weird when I was skimming through Hurd’s book in the bookshop (ughhh it costs 2 weeks worth of pocket money), and it did not help that Hurd spent pages comparing the Tories under Peel to the modern Conservative Party. Oh God if we bring that analogy to its logical conclusion… Disraeli = MARGARET THATCHER??!

(via theironduchess)

Haha, well as Heath’s old political secretary he probably spent enough time around him to be able to gauge if someone else resembled him personality-wise. The anachronistic comparisons to the current Conservatives are far from an anomaly in books by current politicians about those who are long dead. (Bill Cash saying John Bright would’ve opposed British membership in the EU is probably the worst I’ve came across!)

I don’t think Maggie could be Dizzy—she campaigned FOR Europe before she began her implacable opposition. I think she & Ted genuinely disagreed on policy, whereas nobody ever accused Disraeli of anything other than opportunism with regard to Peel. Plus the whole Cult of Dizzy was an awfully Wet thing…Mrs Thatcher preferred extolling the virtues of Gladstonian finance, though she could only dream of reducing the state to the size it was in the 1850s…

(via theironduchess)

261 notes

livelymorgue:

March 27, 1921: Contents under pressure — a Weimar-era advertising gimmick put unemployed soldiers to work extolling the virtues of German champagne. Years later, in The Times Magazine, Stephen Spender recalled youthful days in Berlin toward the end of the 1920s. “We saw Berlin as a tremendous phenomenon, but not as the cultural center of the then contemporary Europe,” he wrote. “In fact, I doubt whether Berlin could ever be the center of anything, even of Germany: It is a kind of off-center, just as New York is off-center to the United States.” Photo: The New York Times

Filed under wtf germany 1920s photos new york times

5 notes

Oh man, so speaking of Robert Peel, I just saw a PBS documentary that used a photo of THE WRONG ROBERT PEEL when talking about the Metropolitan Police. They showed a drawing of his father, the 1st baronet, who was also named Robert Peel. PBS is pretty pathetic, most of their broadcasting that isn’t aimed at children is just taken from British television, and the rest of the time they’re just making documentaries about Great Britain (mostly England, sometimes Scotland, but only Dukes or Earls who have houses there or something) which are full of FACTUAL INACCURACIES.*

My mother texted me when some documentary on the Palace of Westminster was on, and I only caught the end of it, but they gave the wrong woman as the first female MP (everybody forgets the Sinn Fein lady & wants to talk about the rich American who actually took her seat instead), and they showed the infamous closet plaque that Tony Benn installed in memory of the lady who hid in the closet over the New Year and then later threw herself in front of the king’s horse at a race, but they of course didn’t mention that it was a guerilla plaque installation and not something Westminster had done itself. (Not that Americans have ever heard of Tony Benn—I still think it’s weird he was married to one though! And from Cincinnati, no less—a city most famous for its consistent Republican voting, proximity to Kentucky, and the nearby Creationist museum.)

* To be fair, this isn’t a strictly American problem. Harold Wilson’s book on prime ministers uses a photo of Edward Stanley, the 15th Earl of Derby, instead of Edward Stanley, the 14th Earl, who was the one who was prime minister. I don’t know how anyone could possibly make this mistake—the 14th Earl has a pretty alarming muttonchop/neckbeard thing going on, whereas his son in middle-age bore occasional resemblance to a pudgy, greasy, balding Princess Leia. (Great diarist though!)

Filed under why can't the government pay ME to make documentaries? i'm pretty sure i could do a better job or at least i could CORRECT ALL THEIR ERRORS

15 notes

Peel was the heir to a vast cotton-spinning fortune (Hurd tells us he was worth £22 million in modern terms), and he built himself a luxurious but over-the-top country mansion at Drayton Manor in Staffordshire. (It was demolished when the family ran out of money and is now a theme park.) Peel never rid himself of his northern accent. The waspish diarist Charles Greville thought he looked like a fat shopkeeper, and noticed him greedily stuffing himself and cutting creams and jellies with a knife.

"Can he really have been that flawless?", a review of Douglas Hurd’s Robert Peel: A Biography| The Telegraph

——

"The waspish diarist Charles Greville thought he looked like a fat shopkeeper, and noticed him greedily stuffing himself and cutting creams and jellies with a knife." Oh Peel. Now I see where the Duke of Wellington was coming from when he said "I have no small talk, and Peel has no manners. ” 

(via theironduchess)

Somewhere I’ve got a whole page of quotes from Hurd’s book written out longhand where people are talking about how awkward Peel is. Hurd’s pretty easy on him though, I’ve seen other biographies that spend page after page quoting Peel’s contemporaries describing his icy aloofness. (The fact that Wellington calls him ‘crotchety’ is pretty telling—probably the only instance I can think of an older man applying the epithet to a younger one.)

of course the best part of Douglas Hurd’s book is he spends a page and a half talking about how Robert Peel reminds him of EDWARD HEATH—just a few weeks ago, I was reading something else where Gladstone was describing Peel’s sulkiness, so now I’m not going to be able to think of him as anything other than a 19th century Ted (except less toothy & more ginger). I guess this makes the Corn Laws the era’s equivalent to the EEC? Probably best not to push that analogy too far, though both broke Conservative party bases—the difference is that the effect was delayed with Europe, the initial opposition coming from the left of Labour until it was later overtaken by the future UKIPers

(via theironduchess)

Filed under robert peel quotes uk politics