I have accepted the challenge of reading William Manchester’s tome “The Last Lion”, a 1000 page, three volume biography of Winston Churchill. I have found it to be fascinating and I am enjoying it very much. The first volume contains considerable information on the Victorian era and the British aristocracy in particular. As a member of the British aristocracy, Churchill’s worldview was deeply influence by the Victorian ethos.
Victorian British society was characterized by the fortunate (aristocracy) and the unfortunate (everyone else). I was struck by one particular quote describing those times.
It was, James Laver writes, “probably the last period in history when the fortunate thought they could give pleasure to others by displaying their good fortune before them.”
I would suggest that Laver was short-sighted. It seems to me that such a description may be properly applied to the fortunate of our day and age.