A new years day diary entry, 1901, recalling relations with
Joseph Chamberlain, influential politician and father
of Neville Chamberlain,which began in 1882.
|Beatrice Webb, 1900|
"Then came the catastrophy of my life. At a London dinner party I met Joseph Chamberlain. At once, and I think on both sides, there arose the question of marriage. He was seeking a wife, attractive, docile and capable I was ripe for love: revelling in newly acquired health and freedom, my intelligence wide awake, my heart unclaimed.
[...]"In all this business of life I remained hardheaded and cold, using whatever feminine charms I possessed to further my intellectual ends. Sentimental relationships I had: but the sentiment was always on the other side! Possibly I owe this debt to Chamberlain. He absorbed the whole of my sexual feeling."(1)
Beatrice on Joseph
LSE Digital Library and LSE Flickr