Tuesday, 3 February 2015

The King and His Reign VI: The War

Queen Mary seems to curtsey before EFB*
Non-fiction ~ essay
Published in The Spectator, 29th March 1935
1,450 words
(First read 03/02/2015)

Benson has nothing but praise for the King's record during the First World War, coming pretty close to defining what he considered the True and Perfect English Gentleman: a man who conducted himself always with quiet, sober dignity and compassion, with the minimum of pomp and fuss (unlike that shocking Kaiser-cousin of his!), etc.  Also singled out for encomiums are the King's mother (Queen Alexandra), wife (Queen Mary), and even his son the Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII).  The essay's emphasis is definitely on the royal family here, though there's stuff about the war itself too.
The article is available online here.

* Benson was visited by Queen Mary at Lamb House (Rye) on 11th March 1935 ~ "I was in the area, y'know" ~ about three weeks before this article was published.  I daresay he spent the entire visit trying to divert her attention away from his collection of antique silverware, notorious kleptomaniac that she was.
She's not really curtseying to him in the photo, by the way.

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