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Maurice - apology!

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  • jenny2write
    Have finally found Hare s book : The Years with Mother . I was taken aback to find that it doesn t actually seem to say much about FD Maurice! and what s
    Message 1 of 18 , Apr 1, 2002
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      Have finally found Hare's book : "The Years with Mother". I was
      taken aback to find that it doesn't actually seem to say much about
      FD Maurice! and what's more, Hare acknowledges he was a truly good
      man. I think I got such a wrong impression because Hare's adoptive
      mother was under the influence of the Maurice family generally and
      they insisted on her raising him with "a code of penance with regard
      to me which was worthy of the ascetics of the desert..." (virtually
      torture, in fact). FD had nothing to do with this but his family
      sounded so spectacularly unpleasant that I can only suppose it
      tarnished him by association for me. Of such things are "Chinese
      whispers" made.

      Also, on thinking about it, I feel that Hare's recollections
      connected in my mind with a biography of Maurice I read more or less
      at the same time, which described the intense conflict caused within
      Maurice's youthful family home by religious differences, which all
      sounded very peculiar and unpleasant too. The sisters certainly sound
      absolutely frightful. This is what Hare wrote about one of them: "I
      often still suffer from the want of self confidence engendered by
      reproaches and taunts which never ceased: for a day, for a week, for
      a year they would have been nothing, but ALWAYS with no escape but my
      own death or that of my tormentor!" Perhaps FD was the "nice one"
      in his Addams-type family.

      Anyway without re-reading the book and some background on Hare, I
      cannot make more informed statements and I am sure everyone has had
      enough of my mumblings about Maurice by now. (May I recommend Hare's
      book as a good read, though. I see that he attended Oxford at the
      same time as CLD although as far as I KNOW they didn't meet)

      And here (at last) is what Hare wrote about his first impressions of
      Maurice:

      "It must have been soon after this that Frederick Maurice moved to
      London and our visits to London were henceforth for several years
      generally paid to his stuffy chaplain's house at Guy's, where, as I
      could not then appreciate my host, I was always intensely miserable,
      as, though a truly good man, Frederick Maurice was not, as I thought,
      an attractive one. He maundered over his own humility in a way which -
      even to a child - did not seem humble, and he was constantly lost
      mentally in the labyrinth of religious mysticisms which he was ever
      creating for himself. In all he said, as in all he wrote, there was a
      nebulous vegueness. "I sometimes fancy" "I almost incline to
      believe" "I seem to think" were the phrases most frequently on his
      lips."

      It will be interesting to hear what any Victorian Web people say but
      once again I apologise to Maurice fans for apparently unfairly
      blackening his name here.

      Jenny.
    • mikeindex@aol.com
      [Maurice] never wanted to be a leader - he was far too humble for that - but his Band of Brothers turned to him because they could recognise within him a true
      Message 2 of 18 , Apr 1, 2002
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        [Maurice] never wanted to be a leader - he was far too humble for that - but his Band of Brothers turned to him because they could recognise within him a true humility and a quiet, gentle and kindly wisdom - merged with an honest desire to serve God with no thought of gain or reward.    



        Call me a Godless cynic, but I have a hard time buying the idea of this retiring soul who just backed accidentally into leadership because he was asked. has been the  cliche protetstaion  of very politicain and would-be world-shaper' since the beginning of time.  Frankly, I think  "I'm too humble to lead you...oh all right I will anyway"  is uncomfortably close to the self-conscious pursuit of 'humility' portrayed  by Hare. Though maybe I'm pre-judging.

        I have to admit the  self-conscious 'humility' of George MacDonald, who was one of Maurice's disciples,  often strikes me  as a kind of inverted egoism - as indeed any obsession with the self - even a critical obsession - must end up being. Perhaps all Victorian religiosity was tinged with that. Dodgson seems never more self-absorbed and adolescent than when he is pleading with God to make him more humble.

        Mike


      • keith
        Mike, Maurice must be judged by his ideas and by what he did. He advocated the church addressing the social ills of his time. We would now say he was ahead
        Message 3 of 18 , Apr 1, 2002
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          Mike,
           
          Maurice must be judged by his ideas and by what he did.  He advocated the church addressing the social ills of his time.  We would now say he was ahead of his time in doing so.  Not only that, unlike Dodgson, Maurice did a lot about remedying what he saw was wrong in society.  He started the Christian Socialist society and he also worked on the reform of education - we could do with his like nowadays!!
           
          Judging him by the narrow confines of the Hare family is meaningless, as is trying to decide whether he was truly humble by accepting leadership when there was nobody else willing or able to do the job.
           
          Maurice was well liked by most who met him including CLD.  The Hare's were upper class snobs so there was bound to be differences between them and Maurice, actually it was more a compliment to be disliked by the Hare's! 
           
          Tennyson liked Maurice to the extent that he asked him to be godfather to one of his boys and Tennyson was not one to suffer hypocrites lightly.
           
          Perhaps it is just more male bashing going on.
           
          Keith
          ----- Original Message -----
          Sent: Monday, April 01, 2002 6:25 PM
          Subject: Re: [lewiscarroll] Re: Carroll and politics, - FD Maurice etc.

          [Maurice] never wanted to be a leader - he was far too humble for that - but his Band of Brothers turned to him because they could recognise within him a true humility and a quiet, gentle and kindly wisdom - merged with an honest desire to serve God with no thought of gain or reward.    



          Call me a Godless cynic, but I have a hard time buying the idea of this retiring soul who just backed accidentally into leadership because he was asked. has been the  cliche protetstaion  of very politicain and would-be world-shaper' since the beginning of time.  Frankly, I think  "I'm too humble to lead you...oh all right I will anyway"  is uncomfortably close to the self-conscious pursuit of 'humility' portrayed  by Hare. Though maybe I'm pre-judging.

          I have to admit the  self-conscious 'humility' of George MacDonald, who was one of Maurice's disciples,  often strikes me  as a kind of inverted egoism - as indeed any obsession with the self - even a critical obsession - must end up being. Perhaps all Victorian religiosity was tinged with that. Dodgson seems never more self-absorbed and adolescent than when he is pleading with God to make him more humble.

          Mike




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        • mikeindex@aol.com
          ... But you wouldn t argue would you that a man s deeds are the sum total of what the man is? Isn t that the mistake the Victorians made as I think Eleanor
          Message 4 of 18 , Apr 1, 2002
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            Maurice must be judged by his ideas and by what he did.  He advocated the church addressing the social ills of his time.  We would now say he was ahead of his time in doing so.  Not only that, unlike Dodgson, Maurice did a lot about remedying what he saw was wrong in society.  He started the Christian Socialist society and he also worked on the reform of education - we could do with his like nowadays!!



            But you wouldn't argue would you that a man's deeds are the sum total of what the man is? Isn''t that the mistake the Victorians made as I think Eleanor said? It would be possible for Maurice to have done good things and been  both self-absorbed and 'unattractive' as a person. So if someone who knew him says he was both these things  can we afford to just ignore it? Egoism can be a motivator to heroism as  much as altruism can.



            Judging him by the narrow confines of the Hare family is meaningless, as is trying to decide whether he was truly humble by accepting leadership when there was nobody else willing or able to do the job.



            Okay if you believe that line.  Maybe he was sincere. I've just heard it rather a lot from various politicians all 'summoned to serve' against their will, and it makes me suspicious. Maybe that's my failing.I won't argue the case.



            Maurice was well liked by most who met him including CLD.  The Hare's were upper class snobs so there was bound to be differences between them and Maurice, actually it was more a compliment to be disliked by the Hare's!  



            What's the source for the snobbery thing? Were they famous for it at the time or something? I have zero knowledge of the Hares, so I have to ask, it doesn't mean I doubt you.  But even if they were snobs does that fact automatically invalidate everything they say?  I'm just wondering if that could be seen as  a little snobbish in its own right?






            Tennyson liked Maurice to the extent that he asked him to be godfather to one of his boys and Tennyson was not one to suffer hypocrites lightly.

            Perhaps it is just more male bashing going on.



            mmph...well  the only person who's 'bashed' Maurice is me, and I am male (or at least I was last time I checked), so this seems improbable. Or can males do male-bashing? I'm not too well-informed on the latest thinking on this. All informed opinions welcome.

            Mike

          • keith
            Mike, of course the sum total of a man s deeds do not make a full picture of any man. His motives must be looked at but having said that to assign motives
            Message 5 of 18 , Apr 1, 2002
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              Mike,
               
              of course the sum total of a man's deeds do not make a full picture of any man.  His motives must be looked at but having said that to assign motives upon spurious evidence or just upon the opinions of folk who are themself highly suspect as to their motives cannot be in any way scientific analysis.  If someone who knew him said anything then it needs to be considered BUT not in isolation, the opinions must be balanced and examined.  Perhaps those who berated him were jealous, envious of him or in awe of him?  As they say, one swallow does not make a summer!
               
              On the politicians, I assume you mean modern ones.  Their motives must be suspect because the financial rewards are greater nowadays.  In the case of Victorian ones, such as Melbourne, I think the evidence for his reluctance is overwhelming and it would need a lot of evidence to make me reconsider that one.  Gladstone and Disraeli I don't know for sure as the evidence is not firm about any reluctance, on balance I'd say they were not reluctant but one person saying they were would not make me see things differently, I'd need much more evidence than that!
               
              The Hares were class snobs and well know for it, but so were most of the upper classes at that time.  Maurice was seen as highly suspect because of his socialism, which you cannot equate to modern socialism of course.  Maurice was not in favour of breaking down the class boundaries just in treating the peasants with a bit of kindness.  The French revolution had set the upper classes in England on their guard against any such ideas and even Maurice's views, which were mild, were regarded as potential revolutionary thoughts.  In his actions and in his publications and thoughts Maurice was a man with humanitarian ideas which he was not afraid of putting forward.  Whatever his faults history had judged him to be sincere - whatever the Hare's may say about it!!
               
              I'll leave the male bashing aside - you looked male last time I saw you but that's for you to decide!  I think it was obvious what I meant but it's not worth pursuing!
               
              Keith
               
               
              ----- Original Message -----
              Sent: Monday, April 01, 2002 7:39 PM
              Subject: Re: [lewiscarroll] Re: Carroll and politics, - FD Maurice etc.




              Maurice must be judged by his ideas and by what he did.  He advocated the church addressing the social ills of his time.  We would now say he was ahead of his time in doing so.  Not only that, unlike Dodgson, Maurice did a lot about remedying what he saw was wrong in society.  He started the Christian Socialist society and he also worked on the reform of education - we could do with his like nowadays!!



              But you wouldn't argue would you that a man's deeds are the sum total of what the man is? Isn''t that the mistake the Victorians made as I think Eleanor said? It would be possible for Maurice to have done good things and been  both self-absorbed and 'unattractive' as a person. So if someone who knew him says he was both these things  can we afford to just ignore it? Egoism can be a motivator to heroism as  much as altruism can.



              Judging him by the narrow confines of the Hare family is meaningless, as is trying to decide whether he was truly humble by accepting leadership when there was nobody else willing or able to do the job.



              Okay if you believe that line.  Maybe he was sincere. I've just heard it rather a lot from various politicians all 'summoned to serve' against their will, and it makes me suspicious. Maybe that's my failing.I won't argue the case.



              Maurice was well liked by most who met him including CLD.  The Hare's were upper class snobs so there was bound to be differences between them and Maurice, actually it was more a compliment to be disliked by the Hare's!  



              What's the source for the snobbery thing? Were they famous for it at the time or something? I have zero knowledge of the Hares, so I have to ask, it doesn't mean I doubt you.  But even if they were snobs does that fact automatically invalidate everything they say?  I'm just wondering if that could be seen as  a little snobbish in its own right?






              Tennyson liked Maurice to the extent that he asked him to be godfather to one of his boys and Tennyson was not one to suffer hypocrites lightly.

              Perhaps it is just more male bashing going on.



              mmph...well  the only person who's 'bashed' Maurice is me, and I am male (or at least I was last time I checked), so this seems improbable. Or can males do male-bashing? I'm not too well-informed on the latest thinking on this. All informed opinions welcome.

              Mike



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            • jenny2write
              ... Hare s were upper class snobs so there was bound to be differences between them and Maurice, actually it was more a compliment to be disliked by the
              Message 6 of 18 , Apr 1, 2002
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                > Maurice was well liked by most who met him including CLD. The
                Hare's were upper class snobs so there was bound to be differences
                between them and Maurice, actually it was more a compliment to be
                disliked by the Hare's!

                But the Hare family didn't dislike them. The point was that poor old
                Augustus's adoptive mother liked the Maurices so much she was under
                their thumb.The one who didn't like them was the child, Augustus -
                and nobody took any notice of what HE felt! As he said, the Maurices
                persuaded his mother to "adopt their peculiar phraseology especially
                with regard to religious things...". "... the Maurice sisters were
                the first of the many so-called "religious" people I have known, who
                did not seem to realise that Christianity is rather action than
                thought; not a system but a life". .

                >
                > Perhaps it is just more male bashing going on.

                Don't know what you mean by this Keith as the Maurice sisters were
                far nastier than the males in this little scenario!! Jenny
              • Chloe Nichols
                Kate, I will miss you. Chloe ... _________________________________________________________________ MSN Photos is the easiest way to share and print your
                Message 7 of 18 , Apr 1, 2002
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                  Kate, I will miss you. Chloe


                  >From: "Kate" <lyon@...>
                  >Reply-To: lewiscarroll@yahoogroups.com
                  >To: <lewiscarroll@yahoogroups.com>
                  >Subject: Re: [lewiscarroll] Re: Carroll and politics, - FD Maurice etc.
                  >Date: Tue, 2 Apr 2002 21:40:58 +1200
                  >
                  >Re Eleanor's reply about schmooze or whatever the expression was. . . .it
                  >comes from my summation through reading endless bios of the man and his
                  >times, and a number of his works. Okay?
                  >
                  >Now if the list will excuse me, I have better things to do these days then
                  >to become embroiled in yet another series of barrages and insults.
                  >
                  >I think I will leave this list for a while - it is only causing me endless
                  >upsets.
                  >
                  >Kate
                  > ----- Original Message -----
                  > From: mikeindex@...
                  > To: lewiscarroll@yahoogroups.com
                  > Sent: Tuesday, April 02, 2002 6:47 AM
                  > Subject: Re: [lewiscarroll] Re: Carroll and politics, - FD Maurice etc.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Couldn't agree more. It sounds sappy and insincere. At the moment
                  > Maurice is coming across like a presidential candidate which to me is
                  > another way of saying schmaltzy and phony. Ohhh my God, Kate where
                  > does that schmooze you quote come from? He was too humble to be a
                  > leader but they asked him because he was SOOO Godly and sincere and
                  > kind - and of course he was way too nice to say no?! Dear Lord.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Eleanor - male-bashing isn't allowed on this list. Kindly re-send your
                  >email with the words 'Florence Nightingale' substituted for 'Maurice'.
                  >
                  > (no I am not serious - please no one send me outraged responses. This
                  >male is VERY sensitive to being bashed!)
                  >
                  > Mike
                  >
                  > Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
                  > ADVERTISEMENT
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                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > to unsubscribe send a blank email to:
                  >lewiscarroll-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                  >
                  > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.
                  >




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                • jenny2write
                  ... days then to become embroiled in yet another series of barrages and insults. ... endless upsets. I was very sorry to see that posting from Kate and I m
                  Message 8 of 18 , Apr 2, 2002
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                    > Now if the list will excuse me, I have better things to do these
                    days then to become embroiled in yet another series of barrages and
                    insults.
                    >
                    > I think I will leave this list for a while - it is only causing me
                    endless upsets.

                    I was very sorry to see that posting from Kate and I'm almost
                    starting to regret making my original ill-informed comment. I am not
                    quite as ill informed as I was, but I didn't mean to fuel an open
                    season on bashing Maurice - he deserves far better. His family sound
                    pretty terrible but that wasn't HIS fault - he was deeply serious and
                    well meaning, and his views were humane and intellectually
                    challenging - and what is more he actually went out and did something
                    about them.

                    It is not impossible for someone to be pressed into leadership when
                    that isn't actually their priority; (or at least I know some people
                    who have had to do this in various voluntary organisations. It just
                    depends what the alternatives are).

                    I can't in any way see how Maurice deserves to be compared with
                    sleazy American politicians so I assume that was meant to be a joke.

                    Jenny
                  • AnisaT@aol.com
                    In a message dated 02/04/2002 09:07:38 GMT Daylight Time, woolf@jabberwock.co.uk writes:
                    Message 9 of 18 , Apr 2, 2002
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                      In a message dated 02/04/2002 09:07:38 GMT Daylight Time,
                      woolf@... writes:

                      <<
                      I was very sorry to see that posting from Kate and I'm almost
                      starting to regret making my original ill-informed comment. >>


                      Jenny,

                      Your comment was not 'ill-informed'. It showed better understanding of the
                      complexities of Victorian politics and commentary than most. AND, it
                      stimulated one of the most productive debates we have had on this list for a
                      long time.

                      Kate's recent comment on Maurice is of the highest order, so think on this;
                      without your 'ill-informed' comment, the list would never have received it!

                      I think pats on the back all round are in order!

                      Regards

                      John Tufail
                    • jenny2write
                      Just after I had posted the above i remembered that Maurice s Working Mens College is still running - very near to us - and it is very good. I know many
                      Message 10 of 18 , Apr 2, 2002
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                        Just after I had posted the above i remembered that Maurice's
                        Working Mens College is still running - very near to us - and it is
                        very good. I know many people who have been to classes there,
                        including me (years ago). I just didn't make the connection with
                        Maurice. Here's the web site.
                        http://www.wmcollege.ac.uk/
                      • mikeindex@aol.com
                        ... Jenny I m sure the list welcomes your kind words. But let s not get carried away and turn our backs on what was quite an interesting discussion. Firstly,
                        Message 11 of 18 , Apr 2, 2002
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                          I was very sorry to see that posting from Kate and I'm almost
                          starting to regret making my original ill-informed comment. I am not
                          quite as ill informed as I was, but I didn't mean to fuel an open
                          season on bashing Maurice - he deserves far better. His family sound
                          pretty terrible but that wasn't HIS fault - he was deeply serious and
                          well meaning, and his views were humane and intellectually
                          challenging - and what is more he actually went out and did something
                          about them.  

                          It is not impossible for someone to be pressed into leadership when
                          that isn't actually their priority; (or at least I know some people
                          who have had to do this in various voluntary organisations. It just



                          Jenny I'm sure the list welcomes your kind words. But let's not get carried away and turn our backs on what was quite an interesting  discussion.

                          Firstly, your comments were not ill-informed. Whether  he was right or wrong, Hare did  have reservations about Maurice and he expressed them. You just quoted his own words.

                          Secondly, please rest assured that if anyone expresses discomfort or unhappiness about how they are being handled on the list they always hear from me offlist in an attempt to sort things out. I talked to Kate yesterday, and happily today she is back amongst us.

                          I also received an email from Eleanor telling me she had apologised to Kate for the comment that upset her. So I suggest we do not begin bashing her or her opinions (or anyone else)  as an alternative to bashing Maurice.

                          Now everyone kiss and make up and  I hope the interesting discussion continues.

                          Mike



                        • Kate
                          Re Eleanor s reply about schmooze or whatever the expression was. . . .it comes from my summation through reading endless bios of the man and his times, and a
                          Message 12 of 18 , Apr 2, 2002
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                            Re Eleanor's reply about schmooze or whatever the expression was. . . .it comes from my summation through reading endless bios of the man and his times, and a number of his works.  Okay?
                             
                            Now if the list will excuse me, I have better things to do these days then to become embroiled in yet another series of barrages and insults.
                             
                            I think I will leave this list for a while - it is only causing me endless upsets.
                             
                            Kate
                            ----- Original Message -----
                            Sent: Tuesday, April 02, 2002 6:47 AM
                            Subject: Re: [lewiscarroll] Re: Carroll and politics, - FD Maurice etc.




                            Couldn't agree more. It sounds sappy and insincere. At the moment
                            Maurice is coming across like a presidential candidate which to me is
                            another way of saying schmaltzy and phony. Ohhh my God, Kate where
                            does that schmooze you quote come from? He was too humble to be a
                            leader but they asked him because he was SOOO Godly and sincere and
                            kind - and of course he was  way too nice to say no?! Dear Lord.




                            Eleanor - male-bashing isn't allowed on this list. Kindly re-send your email with the words  'Florence Nightingale' substituted for  'Maurice'.

                            (no I am not serious - please no one send me outraged responses. This male is VERY sensitive to being bashed!)

                            Mike


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                          • Kate
                            Hey Jenny - not a problem. That was this morning - this is now. You actually started a very interesting conversation, as John said. Keith put forward some
                            Message 13 of 18 , Apr 2, 2002
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                              Hey Jenny - not a problem.  That was this morning - this is now.  You actually started a very interesting conversation, as John said.  Keith put forward some excellent points - many people have done so, and will, I hope, continue to do so.  So let's continue - this is good stuff, actually. So what if the breath of fresh air turns into a roaring gale every so often - I'm sure we'll all weather it!
                               
                              Kia ora - Kate 
                               
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