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Today in History

In his diary entry of July 14, 1911, A. C. Benson recounts a college dinner at Cambridge for old members—and shows that, even before social media, people were self-centered bores:

Many of them were obviously drunk, and the awful stupidity of the talk! I really felt myself to be cleverer than some of the guests. Several people asked to be introduced to me, said they wished to make my acquaintance, and then talked continuously. One man asked me for a photograph, for his wife—said he didn’t himself care about such things. But it seemed to me a vile thing to see the kind of mess people make of their lives—the inevitable mess—and then becoming pursy and short-winded and red-nosed and stupid beyond words. None of them…could talk; they could only go on with endless repetitions. And then they could do little but tell tales of their desperate deeds….



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