I'm a slow reader. Since I take pleasure from the act of reading, as well as learning, I see no reason to rush it. So I've read just one book during 'Week 52' - which is my preferred description of the aimless interlude twixt Christmas and New Year. In part that's because little Ffion Davies has been with us quite a lot of the time. But its another Ffion who's written the book - Ffion Hague. 'The Pain and the Privilege', is her oblique look at the life of David Lloyd George, through the eyes and words of the women in his life. It's a long book, a great read and well researched - which has left me in a complex state of disgust and awe at what he achieved, both in debating chambers and bedrooms (and quite possibly broom cupboards) across the world. I've long been fascinated how a radical Welsh Liberal, representing just about the 'Welshest' constituency in the world, managed to become Prime Minister of Great Britain, maintained in that position by the Conservative Party - for six years. The only thing more astonishing than his political achievements was his appetite for sexual intercourse.
Page 469. In 1931, Lloyd George's physician wrote to him after he'd undergone a serious operation on his prostate. In 1931, the great man was 68 years old. The page reads;
"How wonderfully well you have done, though no doubt you realise that recovery is a tedious process, and when the 'slump' days come, not without discouragement. About sex, perhaps I can help you a bit - strictly the nearer you can keep to abstinence for many months the better - but if the Pauline view about 'burning' obtrudes itself, come what may, the wise plan is to keep to well tried love. In that way you avoid the emotional stimulus which any new goddess might promote and to the patient's detriment. This view, I think, fulfils the dictates of 'statesmanship' ".
Also in 1931 his Personal Secretary, A. J. Sylvester witnessed Lloyd George emerging from his bath, and wrote admiringly in his diary;
"There he stood as naked as when he was born with the biggest organ I have ever seen. It resembles a donkey's more than anything else. It must be a sight for the Gods - or the women - in erection. No wonder they are always after him, and he after them ".
When I first began taking an interest in David Lloyd George, I was amazed by the sheer size of his performance. Its seems that I wasn't the only one! Anyway, Ffion Hague has written a very good book, which has left me feeling as if I almost know Lloyd George. I'm looking forwards to spending that day in the museum at Llanystumdwy which I've promised myself.