Memories and Reflections 1852-1927

In This Review

Memories and Reflections 1852-1927

By Herbert Henry, Earl of Oxford and Asquith
Little Brown, 1928
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Lord Oxford's earlier books, "The Genesis of the War" and his "Fifty-Years of Parliament," were disappointing in that they did not add substantially to our knowledge of the events of the period with which he was so closely associated. It was to be hoped that in his memoirs he would throw light on the many obscure phases of recent English history, but it cannot fairly be said that he has made many revelations of prime importance. English statesmen seem to have a constitutional aversion to speaking out, and their books often are valuable principally as reflections of the character and out-look of their writers. This was true of Lord Grey's book and it is true of Asquith's. The first volume is devoted entirely to the pre-war period and is largely taken up with recollections of men and affairs, many of which have no permanent importance. The second volume does, indeed, throw some interesting side-lights of the conduct of the war and makes interesting reading, but one lays down the book with the feeling that the writer, amiable and conciliatory though he may have been, was not the man of the hour. There is nothing of the Churchill about him and his book is not to be compared with "The World Crisis."