A Woman's Perspective

BEATRICE WEBB ON JOSEPH CHAMBERLAIN

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Beatrice Potter (1858-1943), is best known as half of the social-reforming husband and wife partnership, Beatrice and Sidney Webb.

As a young woman in the 1880s, she fell passionately in love with Joseph Chamberlain, before he married his third wife. Quotations from her diaries reveal her feelings towards and impressions of Chamberlain.

3 June, 1883

Met sundry distinguished men, among others Joseph Chamberlain. I do, and I don’t, like him. Talking to ‘clever men’ in society is a snare and delusion as regards interest. Much better read their books.


15 July, 1883

A Whig peer on one side and Joseph Chamberlain on the other. Whig peer talked of his own possessions, Chamberlain passionately of getting hold of other people’s – for the masses. Curious and interesting character, dominated by intellectual passions with little self-control but with any amount of purpose.

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Women Chamberlain

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