balfour-sm

A. J. Balfour

A good piece from the papers of *L.R. Reeve on A.J. Balfour, as a former U.K. Prime Minister he is the highest ranking subject so far (along with Lloyd George.) As usual Reeve is good on his subject's voice and oratorical skills. Reeve's frequent presence at congresses and symposiums of 'leaders of thought' shows him as an almost Zelig-like figure...He ends on a joke, that if not true, ought to be.

Despite his deceptively ornamental appearance, the late Earl Balfour was a worker. Although his attractive manner was unperturbed and casual, he must have experienced periods of unremitting labour through many months; otherwise he could never have written so many theses and philosophical books, added to political publications, parliamentary labours, constituency engagements and university visits.

   His career as a statesman, philosopher and eminent speaker, is too well known to need emphasizing in great detail, but a few outstanding phenomena regarding his life should never be forgotten.
   In appearance he was probably the most aristocratic representative of his period, and was the greatest asset to the perpetuators of the class system. When in his seventieth year he was the leader of a mission to America in 1917, he was one of the most popular visitors England could have sent at any time, because he increased our prestige and disarmed criticism. I mention "perpetuators". Let me make it clear I am not suggesting that Balfour was a determined fighter to maintain the contemporary status quo. He seemed to be fully aware that in this world of fluctuations, there must be modifications of the class system, and an acknowledgement that injustices should be eliminated until the rights of all people are recognized.
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Snapshot of W.E. Gladstone

Found - a snapshot of W.E. Gladstone (1809 - 1898) the original 'Grand Old Man' (G.O.M.) at his country seat Hawarden Castle.  He was Prime Minister 4 times, resigning finally at the age of 84. At the time of this shot (1877) he was out of office. Written on the back of the photo (found in a book by  W.N.P. Barbellion) is 'Gladstone Centenary, December 29th 1909' (crossed out). Unique photo of late Rt. Hon. W.E. Gladstone taken at Hawarden in 1877.' Under this is a stamp 'E.J. Lavell 115 Bedford Hill, Balham S.W.' This is presumably the shop that processed the photo. An online image search reveals another fuller shot (on flickr) from the same session  revealing that the implement to his right is an axe and showing his straw boater on the ground beside him. There is  a note stating that he was relaxing after chopping wood.