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This blog makes liberal use of AB's journals, letters, travel notes, and other sources.
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Saturday, 18 January 2014
M.D., une espece de financier, staying here indefinitely and going up to London every day, said the other night during a political discussion that there were "forty chaps" in his office, and that he believed there were forty radicals amongst them. This cheered me somewhat. Reminiscing about Barney Barnato with another old Tory here, he said that though B.B. was utterly uneducated and showed it in ordinary conversation, yet he could make a speech perfectly correctly; also that he could and did recite from memory whole acts of Shakespere without a single false pronunciation or emphasis.
Additionally for Barney Barnato see 'Jubilee atmosphere' -
Since Saturday night, when I stood out in the rain and wind two and three quarter hours to see the election returns on the Daily News lantern screen in the Old Steyne, I have been perfectly obsessed by politics, perhaps to my harm artistically. Today I finished my 3,000 word article on "The Forces behind the Elections" for the next issue of the English Review. I don't think very much of it. It has a certain elegant quality - but it is too vague. It lacks personality. The fact was I hadn't anything particular to say and anyhow wasn't in a state to say even what I had to say.
For more on the 1910 election see 'Terrific productiveness' -
Frightful weather; wind, rain and gloom. And perhaps the chief origin of my existing dissatisfaction with things in general is that on Friday I had to consult an oculist, as I could only explain my headaches by the theory of a strain on my eyes. Yesterday I began to wear glasses. It is no light thing to begin suddenly to see the novel you have started with the naked eye, through a pair of eye-glasses.
Additionally for January 18th., see 'Getting things in perspective' -
With the history of the Brown's fresh in my mind this morning, I was able to estimate at its proper unimportance the circular which the Graphic people have issued about my serial "The Grand Babylon Hotel", to appear in the Golden Penny, which they sent me this morning, and which in a whirl of adjectives describes the thing as "the most original, amusing, and thrilling" serial written this decade - the best thing of the sort since "The Mystery of a Hansom Cab". Fancy writing a story as good as "The Mystery of a Hansom Cab"!