Greetings again, everyone! I know I’ve been silent over the past few weeks, but it’s due to the unfortunate coincidence of a large number of factors - one of which is the apocalyptic self-destruction of my PC by the dreaded and unholy Blue Screen of Death (I’m currently on a library computer…
In the meantime, however, I’ve been spending the last week in Scotland attenting an Army Officer Familiarisation Course, and during my free time at H.M.'s Army Base, Barry Buddon, I read an absolutely fascinating and marvellous book - In Defence of Aristocracy, by Peregrine Worsthsorne, published by Harper-Collins.
There have been a fair number of political debates on this forum, and regardless of your political disposition, be it Raving Communist or Hang-'em Flog-'em Ultra-Tory, I would heartily reccomend it to anyone with an interest in politics or history.
In essence, the book charts the evolution and devolution of the ‘aristocratic’ social stratum (not just in the titled nobility sense, but in the meritocratic ‘patricians’ as well) and amounts to a thorough endorsement of the virtues of the class system. Now, you don’t have to agree with Worthsorne’s assertions - indeed, I myself object to several of his statements, such as his support for eliminating the hereditary peers from the House of Lords and his accusation that capitalism has destroyed civility and noblesse oblige - but this is nonetheless a superlative and excellent volume. It’s refreshingly unconventional, lucidly argued, rigorously researched, and thoroughly enjoyable, and provides a fascinating alternative viewpoint of the past three hundred years in Britain, America and France.
I found it in Borders for fifteen pounds, and it was worth every penny.
…by the way, the new emoticons are marvellous.
EDIT: …but, erm, why aren’t they displaying?
EDIT II: They are now!