Famous Quotes & Sayings

David Cannadine Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 21 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by David Cannadine.

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David Cannadine Quotes 1371273

He was, albeit only briefly, the hero of the world's hopes. — David Cannadine

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Like sex, poverty and power, suicide may always be with us. But like them again, the actual form is takes is essentially time-specific and culture-bound, not only in the past but in the present too. The people who took their lives, the paths which led them to that end, and the experience of dying in this way were deeply influenced by specific historical circumstances. Only by making a greater effort at historical understanding can this most secret house of death be made to yield up more of its confidences. — David Cannadine

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In the early 21st century, it is easy to condemn the Bond books for being racist and imperialist, sexist and misogynist, elitist and sadistic. But this is merely another way of saying that we cannot understand the Bond books without reference to the personality, the outlook and the 'Tory imagination' of the man who wrote them, and to the time in which he wrote them; and that we cannot understand the 1950s and 1960s without some reference to them, and to him. — David Cannadine

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There are important arguments to be made about the relative merits of an hereditary or an elected head of state: but not at the level of the human frailties of particular monarchs or presidents. No one seriously contends that the American presidency should be abolished because Bill Clinton is a self-confessed adulterer. So why should the abolition of the British monarchy be contemplated because the same is true of Prince Charles? — David Cannadine

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Prince Charles's concern for the underprivileged and disadvantaged has not exactly endeared him to the Conservative Central Office. As Norman Tebbit replied, it is not surprising that the Prince is so sympathetic towards the unemployed: he is by way of being one of them himself. — David Cannadine

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On several occasions, we are informed that the professional ideal 'took steps', 'organised assaults', and 'selected social problems'. But this is anthropomorphic metaphor implausibly masquerading as historical explanation. — David Cannadine

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Lord Beaverbrook was fundamentally a lonely man, with a low sense of his own self-worth, who was incapable of forming a stable, loving relationship with anyone. He could charm or he could bully; he could give or he could take; he was glad to see his guests arrive and pleased to see them go. Although many people genuinely loved him, he was incapable of believing that this was either possible or true. No wonder he was so restless, so impatient, so vindictive, so quick to lose his temper, so eager to stir things up. — David Cannadine

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Kitty Kelley's method, already perfected in her unauthorised and unflattering biographies of Frank Sinatra and Nancy Reagan, is to write bestsellers that take what she describes as an 'unblinking look' at their subjects - which might, of course, mean that her eyes are permanently open or permanently closed ... the result is a work so bad that Britons cannot realise how fortunate they are in being unable to buy it. The great mistake with this book is not that it has been published in Britain, but that it has actually been published anywhere else. — David Cannadine

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The older I get the more I'm convinced that it's the purpose of politicians and journalists to say the world is very simple, whereas it's the purpose of historians to say, 'No! It's very complicated.'
The job of the historian is to help give people a sense of existence in time, without which we are really not fully human. — David Cannadine

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More attention should have been given to the fundamental transformation which took place during Queen Victoria's reign, from ruling sovereign to constitutional monarch. Again, gender mattered. If Albert had lived, it seems clear that he would have resisted that development much more tenaciously, which the gradual emasculation (and feminization) of monarchy was probably more easily accomplished when a woman was on the throne. — David Cannadine

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It is impossible not to be moved by the verve, courage and elan with Churchill attacked his last and ultimately invincible enemy, old age and infirmity. As in all his campaigns, he assailed his adversary with endless high spirits, expert advice, ample helpings of brandy and champagne, and the loving and long-suffering support of his wife. — David Cannadine

David Cannadine Quotes 875405

Cruel and paradoxical though it undoubtedly is, the record shows that yje most succesful 20th century monarchs have been those who were not actually born to succeed. King George VI was 41 when the abdication of Edward VIII propelled him suddenly and unexpectedly to take up the crown; and Queen Elizabeth II spent her first decade with no inkling thay she herself might one day have to reign. Taken together, these examples suggest that the best preparation for the job of sovereign is not to be prepared for it at all, ir not to be too well prepared for it, or for too long. — David Cannadine

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Royal relationships across the generations have often been strained and distant, rather than close and affectionate. Most eldest sons, interminably waiting to become king, have not been on the best of terms with the sovereign to whose death they look forward with a debilitating combination of guilt-ridden anxiety and eager anticipation. And younger sons (and daughters, too) have often found their lives empty of purpose: cut off by their royal statius, but unable to find anything rewarding with which to fill the time. — David Cannadine

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Of all the memorable phrases that have been minted and mobilised to describe modern British royalty, 'constitutional monarchy' is virtually the only one which seemes to have neither been anticipated nor invented by Walter Bagehot. It was he who insisted that 'a princely marriage is the brilliant edition of a universal fact, and as such it rivets mankind'; and he who warned that the monarchy's 'mystery is its life. We must not let in daylight upon magic'. — David Cannadine

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For Henry James, class was 'the essentially hierarchial plan of English society' which was 'the great and ever-present fact to the mind of a stranger; there is hardly a detail of life that does not in some degree betray it'. — David Cannadine

David Cannadine Quotes 1377936

Vernon Bogdanor's account The Monarchy and the Constitution is written as much in the shadow of Edmund Burke as it is of Walter Bagehot. He stresses the organic development of the British constitution, prefers evolution to revolution, and thinks stability is better than strife. — David Cannadine

David Cannadine Quotes 1393784

Scandal, it bears repeating, undermines monarchies, but rarely ends them. It may be true that, according to a recent editorial in the New York Times, the British monarchy now exists primarily 'for our amusement'. But as long as people find it amusing, and want to be amused by it, they will be happy to see it undermined but uneager to kill it off. — David Cannadine

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For all her active goodness, Florence Nightingale herself was far from being the angelic figure of popular adulation: according to Lytton Strachey's Eminent Victorians she was a self-righteous, domineering amazon, who was ruthless in her compassion, merciless in her philantropy, destructive in friendships, obsessional in her list for power, and demonic in her saintliness. — David Cannadine

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David Irving has consistenly applied an evidential double standard, demanding absolute documentary proof to convict the Germans (as when he sought to show that Hitler was not responsible for the Holocaust), while relying on circumstantial evidence to condemn the British (as in his account of the Allied bombing of Dresden). — David Cannadine

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Charitable endeavour exalts the prestige and the status of the giver. This may sound unduly cynical but as with all philantrophic activity, it is not easy to unravel the mutually reinforcing motives of selflessness and self-interest. All that can safely be said is that most members of the royal family have difficulty distinguishing between concern about society, concern about the social order and concern about what best to do so they can remain at the top of it. — David Cannadine

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For those who reject it, the Victorian experience is something to feel embarrassed about, to apologise for, to escape from, and never to repeat. But to those who remain enthralled, it is a fabulous story of oustanding success and splendid achievement, by comparison with which Britain's 20th century records seems at best unimpressive, and often distinctly lacklustre. — David Cannadine