Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Hero Worship: Woodrow Wilson and Walter Bagehot

Personalities and cults of personalities surrounding revolutionaries, revolutionary leaders, and the people that revolutionaries look up to, is nothing new. So it goes for Woodrow Wilson as well. In a letter to his wife Ellen Axson Wilson, Woodrow Wilson wrote the following: (Links throughout for context)
To Ellen Axson Wilson Langport, Somerset, 12 August, 1896

My own darling, Langport is the place where Bagehot was born and lived; his grave is in the churchyard here, and in the church there is a beautiful memorial window to him, put in by his wife, who still lives at the family place (Herds Hill) here when she is not in London. Almost the first sign that caught my eye when I rode into Wells was “Stuckey’s Banking Co” and it at once occurred to me to ask how far off Langport was. I found it was only some 18 miles away, and Glastonbury on the same road. I saw Glastonbury this morning, and came here this afternoon. It is a quaint interesting little place. The churchyard lies upon a hill, standing at Bagehot’s grave, one looks out upon just such a view as that from Prospect Ave [in Princeton], only more beautiful with a sweet river running through it, and a wonderful golden light lying on it, as, it would seem, the whole of Somerset. The leaf enclosed is from Bagehot's grave, darling; please press it and keep it for me.

The word "groupie" comes to mind.

Wilson wrote two major essays regarding Bagehot, which are pretty well elaborated in this Google Blog page:

A Literary Politician (1895), full transcript.

A Wit and a Seer (1898), full transcript.

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