[Ads-l] Victoria Quote About Gladstone

Peter Reitan pjreitan at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Oct 27 15:05:16 EDT 2016


Ponsonby writes in his memoir, Side lights on Queen Victoria, New York, Sears Publishing, 1930 (HathiTrust):


"The fact that Queen Victoria cordially disliked Gladstone is now well known: in fact she herself never made any secret of her antipathy to him in her later years [(Gladstone claimed that Disraeli poisoned her mind against him, but)]. . . . Some people, however thought this was owing to the fact that while Disraeli flattered and amused her, Gladstone lectured her and addressed her as if she were a public meeting."


Ponsonby does not cite a memorandum from her.


The rumor that she said that was reported (but not supported) in George William Erskine Russel's book, Collections and Recollections by one who has kept a diary, Leipzig, Tauchnitz, 1898.  (HathiTrust)


"'[Gladstone] speaks to me as if I was a public meeting,' is a complaint which is said to have proceeded from illustrious lips."


He makes no claim that she actually said it, only that people said that she said it.


The phrase was reported in a couple reviews of the book when it came out, suggesting that it was not previously well known.  One reviewer found it unbelievable because, "a constitutional monarch would not play such havoc with her tenses."



________________________________
From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of Shapiro, Fred <fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU>
Sent: Thursday, October 27, 2016 11:04:30 AM
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
Subject: Victoria Quote About Gladstone

---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Poster:       "Shapiro, Fred" <fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU>
Subject:      Victoria Quote About Gladstone
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Wikiquote attributes the well known quotation by Queen Victoria (about Will=
iam E. Gladstone), "He speaks to me as if I was a public meeting." to the f=
ollowing:


"Memorandum to her private secretary Gen. Sir Henry Ponsonby (1874-11-18)"


Can anyone help me to locate a reliable source for this memorandum?


Fred Shapiro

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