King of the Charm Offensive

By Gimson, Andrew | The Spectator, April 10, 2004 | Go to article overview

King of the Charm Offensive


Gimson, Andrew, The Spectator


King of the charm offensive EDWARD VII AND THE ENTENTE CORDIALE by Ian Dunlop Constable, £25, pp. 315, ISBN 1841195308

There could scarcely be a more delightful way to remind oneself of the British and French statesmen who created the Entente Cordiale, signed on 8 April 1904, than to read this book. Ian Dunlop's method of composition is unfashionable. It consists largely of the skilful selection of amusing passages from diplomatic memoirs and other works published during the last century, with no preference given to the latest research and certainly no attempt to make daring reassessments. This is history without the idea that we know better than those who made it; history where due respect is paid to the personalities involved, whose lives were set down in the ponderous volumes which gathered dust on our grandfathers' shelves.

We feel as if Dunlop is showing us his library, and we share his pleasure as he reads out his favourite passages. The start of the book has a slightly inconsequential feel, but he is surely right to begin with the first, unsuccessful Entente Cordiale between Britain and France, early in the reign of Queen Victoria, who in 1843 made the first visit by an English monarch to French soil since 1520. Dunlop brings us Sir Robert Peel and Lord Aberdeen comparing notes on the coverage of her visit in the French and English newspapers.

Queen Victoria was unquestionably a fairly Germanic figure, with an impossibly Germanic husband, but they completely failed to impress their Coburg earnestness on their eldest son, Bertie. The future Edward VII turned out to have a quite remarkable affinity with the French. He got on well with radical politicians such as Gambetta and Delcassé. Unlike his nephew, the Kaiser, he was not in the slightest bit huffy that the French had chosen, in their abominably modern and unreliable way, to overthrow their monarchs and set up a republic. He loved Paris, and pleased the Parisians by telling them that he felt at home there. After his death in 1910, Sir Edward Grey, the Foreign Secretary, said:

King Edward had a rare, if not unique, power of combining bonhomie and dignity. The bonhomie was warm and spontaneous, hut it never impaired the dignity . …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

King of the Charm Offensive
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.