Queen Victoria on the Comparative Value of the Upper and Lower Classes

Beastrabban\'s Weblog

I found this little apercu from Queen Vick (Gawd bless ‘er!) in Peter Vansittart’s Voices: 1870 1914 (New York: Frankin Watts 1985), a book of quotations from the famous and not-so famous from the period roughly from the Franco-Prussian to the First World Wars:

‘Danger lies not in the power given to the Lower Orders, who becoming more well-informed and more intelligent, and who will deservedly work themselves up to the top by their own merits, labour and good conduct, but in the conduct of the higher classes and of the Aristocracy.’

Looking at this government, dominated by Eton-educated aristos, I can only conclude that she was right in her time, and unfortunately all too right in ours.

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