Thursday, August 06, 2009

Evoked an irrational hatred and fear in the present author, 1783

The index entry for Maurice in Lloyd George's War Memoirs is a remarkable example of importing invective into a section of a book which is normally neutral:
Maurice, Sir Frederick ... comfortably placed as any politician, 1675; subservient and unbalanced, 1685; ... his astonishing arithmetical calculations, 1763-4; the instrument by which the Government was to be thrown out, 1778; ... his astounding volte face of 22/4/18, 1780-1 ... intrigues against the Government, his mind being apparently unhinged, 1784; false allegations against Lloyd George and Bonar Law published by, 1784-6; the tool of astuter men, 1786 ... his double-dealing denounced by Lloyd George, 1787-8 ... his grave breach of discipline condoned by Asquith, 1791; dismissed, 1791.
-- Roy Jenkins, Asquith, p. 472 n.

... Major-General Maurice had written to the newspapers to challenge Lloyd George's assertion that Haig had more troops available to resist the 1918 German offensive than had been available a year previously. Lloyd George took this as the initiation of a conspiracy by Asquith and others to topple his government, perhaps being inspired by his own awareness of having himself been a conspirator to topple Asquith's government.

The index entry lacks the subtle malice of Charles Kinbote's index entry for Mrs. John Shade: "passim."

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