Over the Top with Bonar Law

Part of the British Studies Series book series (BRSS)


It quickly becomes tiresome for the reader to be presented continually with the statement that ‘of all leaders of the Conservative Party, Box-Bender was the most surprising’; one might almost come to the conclusion that all leaders of the Conservative party are surprising — which is certainly not the case. Bonar Law possessed many qualities, but an ability to surprise was hardly one of them. Still, a greater contrast to Balfour could not have been found. If Balfour almost fitted the description of the heir in Kipling’s The ‘Mary Gloster’ whose rooms at Cambridge were ‘beastly — more like whore’s than a man’s’, then Andrew Bonar Law, who was a friend of the poet’s, nearly matched that of Sir Antony Gloster himself: ‘I didn’t begin with askings. I took my job and I stuck: I took the chances they wouldn’t, an’ now they’re calling it luck.’ There was certainly a large element of that in Law’s rise to the leadership.


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Notes and References

  1. 1.
    Robert Blake, The Unkown Prime Minister (1956), p. 31.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Alan Clark (ed.), A Good Innings (1974), p. 118.Google Scholar
  3. 9.
    D. Gilmour, Curzon (1994), p. 436.Google Scholar
  4. 11.
    G. D. Boyce (ed.), The Crisis of British Unionism… 1885–1922 (1987), p. 128.Google Scholar
  5. 12.
    For this see G. R. Searle, Corruption in British Politics (1987).Google Scholar
  6. 13.
    R. Self (ed.), The Austen Chamberlain Diary Letters (1995), 147.Google Scholar
  7. 14.
    M. Gilbert, Winston S. Churchill IV. Companion vol. 3 (1977), letter to Churchill, 8 April 1921, 1434.Google Scholar
  8. 16.
    There are good accounts in the following: K. O. Morgan, Consensus and Disunity (1979), Chapter 14; Cowling, Impact of Labour Chapter 11Google Scholar
  9. and M. Kinnear, The Fall of Lloyd George (1973), Chapters 5–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© John Charmley 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of East AngliaEngland

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