Darling Monster: The Letters of Lady Diana Cooper to her Son John Julius Norwich 1939-1952, Chatto & Windus, 2013, 520pp.
Lady Diana Duff Cooper had a penetrating mind and brilliant pen, capable of capturing a time when women considered the world laden with opportunity for fulfillment.
She proved this with her famous seven-year performance in Max Reinhardt’s “The Miracle.” Her “Winston and Clementine,” first published in The Atlantic just after Sir Winston’s death, was as fine a tribute to the Churchill marriage as we are likely to encounter.Her collaboration with her husband’s ambassadorship to France was notable.…
A friend sends a letter from a planning firm, “reaching out” to his homeowners association. The planners seek a consultant contract. They promise “awesome” results. Their proposals are so full of jargon that my friend wondered what Churchill would make of it. The letter contains many sentences Churchill would have deplored:
“The committee tasked us with the planning and completion of an inclusive and productive process.”
“General understanding offers guidance for the implementation committee.”
And: “An outward and honest marketing position achieves awesome goals…”
“Tasked,” of course, is a new verb, converted from the noun “task” by modern Newspeak.…
Above all and first, the importance of Henry V is what it teaches about leadership. “True leadership,” writes Andrew Roberts, “stirs us in a way that is deeply embedded in our genes and psyche.…If the underlying factors of leadership have remained the same for centuries, cannot these lessons be learned and applied in situations far removed from ancient times?”
Churchill’s war speeches are—what shall we say—inspired by, remindful of, analogous to Shakespeare’s works in ancient times.…