Tuesday 4 October 2016

Classy Quotes 23

As a family we did not number doctors, dentists, bank managers or similar worthies in our circle.
No one in the immediate family had been to university. But my father was a naval officer, and while Mum’s father had started out as a travelling salesman, he ended up with his own canning factory and a small country estate in North Yorkshire. (Jeremy Paxman)

Middle class values include loving privacy and self determination then criticising working class communities for not being communal enough. (Matthew Whitfield ‏@mwhitfield80)

Residents of Kensington Palace Gardens feared being swamped by “the masses” if their street joined a cycling network, newly released letters reveal. Transport for London’s plans for a “Quietway” through one of the capital’s most expensive roads were shelved last month after residents complained that it would ruin their “tranquillity” and pose security risks. (Evening Standard)

If the requirement was [for schools] to take 80% disadvantaged, middle-class parents would avoid because what is most desired is social selection. (Ros McMullen ‏@RosMcM)

Doesn't 'toff' translate as 'someone who sounds posher than me'? (And the unmentionable 'p' word as 'someone who sounds more common than me'?) (AG)

She learned about being nice in her two years at college... Her fellow students were “the nicest and most reasonable individuals I had ever met... That’s what being middle-class-in-the-world is about. Darkness is managed or hidden.” “It's about being sensible... You can’t let yourself go... except when you do.” (Carolyn Steedman reviews Respectable by Lynsey Hanley in the LRB 2016)

A parlourmaid giving evidence to the government inquiry (into the “servant crisis” in the 20s) explained that she had suffered ‘untold misery’ because invitations to parties warned her not to admit what she did for a living. Her friends didn’t want their friends to ‘mix with servants’. (She left Belvoir Castle and went to work for Agatha Christie, who was very fond of her. LRB July 2016. Christie herself sometimes joked that if the writing didn't pan out she could always get a job as a parlourmaid.)

Leadsom deciding to spend more time with her National Trust oven gloves. (FB)

The publication had been a home for people who valued culinary expertise, wrote Kimball—a place with “respect for those who had earned the chops, as it were, who had a lifetime of good breeding and experience in order to stand at the cultural helm.” (Cooks Illustrated on the demise of Gourmet magazine)

It is well known that height is correlated with economic power. (LRB May 2016)

When I joined The Bookseller, I'd be asked 'which college' I went to. Took a while before realised it was Oxbridge college. (Danuta Kean ‏@Danoosha)

British middle-class Hell is a permanent signal failure, with the stalled train's passengers tutting quietly at the futility of it all. (Musa Okwonga ‏@Okwonga)

It never occurred to me to think I wasn’t a gentleman until Lady Burghclere pointed it out. (Evelyn Waugh)

Interview with Viscount Linley, Times June 2016-06-05

I ask what TV he watched growing up.
“There wasn’t any.”
No telly?
“My father put tinfoil over the front of it.”
So it looked like a jacket potato?
“So it mirrored our image. He said, ‘Now you can see how idiotic you look.’”
That’s so wonderfully snobby. Were you allowed tomato ketchup?

More here, and links to the rest.

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