But reading his diaries in The Sunday Times I was struck mostly by the gloriously Pooterish
tone of many of the entries.
Chamberlain appears here as a pooterish
figure wholly marginal to the important events that took place around him--until, of course, he becomes prime minister and decides to take charge of diplomacy himself.
The very English Stanley Unwin, 'slight, bearded and much given to pince-nez and plus-fours, cuts a rather Pooterish
figure in his photographs, but his benign exterior concealed a razor-sharp financial brain and a powerful streak of ruthlessness'.
In one Pooterish
passage, he describes how he, as well as George Soros, predicted the collapse of the British pound in 1992.
Written by George and Weedon Grossmith, the comic adventures of Mr Pooter appeared in instalments in Punch magazine in 1892 and have since become a classic, with that word "Pooterish
" entering the language as an adjective meaning self-important, though amusingly so.
This occasionally gives a rather Pooterish
tincture to his prose: 'In the summer of 1961, upon arriving in London, I telephoned the critic Lawrence Alloway and asked for the names and phone numbers of English artists I was not familiar with ...
with his ginger toothbrush moustache and battered corduroy jacket, was a rather Pooterish
character for the Sixties.
The dice was cast against Wilde, found guilty of playing with sin in the secret house of shame, and there was Pooterish
celebration at The Laurels.
Jones has given us an illuminating insight into the high command's determination to win a second term but his objections seem a little Pooterish
An air of Pooterish
inconsequentiality lightens the tone (`the innumerable capes of [Henry's] great coat looked so becomingly important', p.
Or, one might say, another 'Pooterish
' moment (the adjective is in the Oxford English Dictionary).
The case of Ron Whitehouse, the Pooterish
councillor for Perry Barr, is particularly poignant.