Beatrice and Sidney Webb: Fabian Socialists by Lisanne Radice

By Lisanne Radice

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Extra info for Beatrice and Sidney Webb: Fabian Socialists

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She looked back on that period with little affection recalling that it, was not on the whole a happy one, ill-health and starved affection and the mental disorders which spring from these: ill-temper and resentment marred it ... long dreary times of brooding and resentfulness, sharp pangs of mortified vanity and remorse for untruthfulness, constant physical discomfort and frequent pain, absorbed the greater part of my existence- and its loneliness was absolute. (8 April 1884) Her intellectual curiosity was encouraged by her father from a very early age so that, even though she had very little formal teaching, she took her educational studies seriously.

0 33 Beatrice took him to Bournemouth to recover and was unable to return to her London commitments. The family now discovered that he had been making heavy losses (for which she, as his companion and business helpmate, was partly blamed by her relations), and it was decided to give up their grand London mansion, York House. It also meant that she would be exposed to a double burden as she would not only have to look after her father, but would also be in continual proximity to Rosy, whom she neither understood nor liked; this now filled her with further apprehension.

And so the agony of two years ends ... ls it ended now? I think so. Double-mindedness has run right through- a perpetual struggle between conscience on the one hand and feeling on the other- not had the courage to follow either to the bitter endhence my misery. And on his side hatred of insubordination and personal attraction possibly tinged with pity, for I believe the man believed I loved him-so I did! Anyhow, these last words from me close it. God help me. (6 March 1886) But it was another three years before Beatrice, who had cared for Chamberlain so passionately, was to feel at peace with herself.

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