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As it is, we must be thankful as well for occasional glimpses of Lloyd
George at work, and for gentle, yet authentic, portraits of some of his
colleagues. There is little on the slights and insults, the embarrassing,
sometimes humiliating, incidents that understandably occurred on the
path which Frances Stevenson, at Lloyd George's request, chose to take.
Instead she remembers the small kindnesses of Winston Churchill, Lord
Curzon, and Lord Riddell, and the occasional gaffes that were attributable
to nothing but her own inexperience. Dame Margaret Lloyd George
and her children are treated with sympathy, though in their eyes, nothing,
as is sadly recorded in the closing pages, ever eradicated 'my original
offence against the family'.
It is unfortunate that Lady Lloyd-George's publishers did not prompt
her memory where trivial, but obvious, inaccuracies crept into the
narrative. Neither Philip Snowden, nor anyone else, went to prison in
1914 as a conscientious objector (p. 242). Lloyd George's speech in the
foreign affairs debate of June 1936, great as it was, had nothing to do with
sanctions against Germany (p. 255). Benes was not prime minister of
Austria (p. 152). Lloyd George's proposal of a coalition was made in
1910 not 1911 (p. 94). There was no such body as the National Unionist
Association of Conservative Organizations (p. 61). Sir John Reith and the
B.B.C. did not commence broadcasting in 1918 (p. 143). Still more disap-
pointing is the omission of any mention of certain people whose relations
with Lloyd George remain unexplored by historians: Sir Henry Dalziel,
Sir William Sutherland, and Sir Frederick Cawley and his colleagues in
the Liberal War Committee, for example. Stimulated by enquiring students
of her husband's career, Lady Lloyd-George might well have been able
to throw shafts of light into a number of neglected corners. Her book is a
fitting testament to a life of dignity and self-sacrifice. But it is also a sad
though unintended reflection on the lack of initiative of British historians
who have failed to reap the harvest of her memories.
Nuffield College, Oxford
Peter Cattermole, The Amateur Geologist (Lutterworth Press, 1968.
Pp. 255. 35s.) is an admirable survey for the general reader, which describes
the scope and practical pursuit of the study of geology. It is pleasantly
written and the illustrations are excellent. As might be expected, the work
contains a good deal of material on Welsh geology in the Cambrian,
Ordovician and Devonian periods. The appendices include a detailed
list of fossil localities and of areas of general geological interest in different
parts of Wales.
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