The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

November 11, 2013

November 11, 1920

Roy Jenkins, (November 11 1920 to January 5, 2003was the son of a labor MP and himself ascended rather directly to power in the British government. His class at Oxford included a number of politicians who would assume power in decades, such as Denis Healey. His political career was crowned when Roy Jenkins served as President of the European Commission. In his autobiography A Life at the Center, his perception of himself as a centrist is obvious, but this is centrist from a labor perspective: Jenkins has been called a Keynesian. 

And Roy Jenkins wrote so many books that he became president of the Royal Society of Literature, These were biographies of men of political power.  Here is an episode about which Jenkins wrote.

In March,1943 Churchill invited a minister who was in favor of  a negotiated peace, to his home, Checquers. R. A. ("Rab") Butler in the morning was summoned  to Churchill's bedroom where Butler found:

him in bed, smoking a Corona, with a black cat curled up on his feet. He began aggressively by complaining that the cat did more for the war effort than I did, since it provided him with a hot water bottle, and saved both fuel and power. Didn't I agree? I said not really, but that it was a very beautiful cat.

This story is told in Butler's The Art of the Possible, and retold by Jenkins in Portraits and Miniatures. (1993), and his biography of Churchill.

So while some (
Roy Jenkins : a question of principle?) ((1982)) by Clive Branson, and Douglas Bence) have labeled Roy Jenkins as "indifferent to cats," that may have been a slur.  We have seen he wrote about cats at least. 

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