Margot Asquith was the wife of the British Prime Minister during the First World War. Her position gave her a unique insight into many key topics of discussion from the era, and she recorded many of her thoughts on such matters in her own personal journals. Now, on the eve of the First World War’s centenary, many of the personal writings recorded by Margot Asquith have been released to the public.
Her reaction to Britain’s entry into the First World War was not as somber as some might expect. Instead, she saw the war as a great political opportunity for her husband. In writing about the declaration of war, she mostly made note of her giddiness at the event. The crowd’s response to the declaration of war was another key fact noted by Margot Asquith, as she deemed the response to be highly positive. She would later take a different tone, however, as fear and sadness over the tragedies befalling the sons of Great Britain would begin to grip the nation. She began to see flaws in her ways of thinking, and started seeing others become more negative as well.
Aside from the war, she had strong feelings toward political figures as well. For instance, she found Lord Kitchener to be dishonest and cruel, though not incredibly bright. She was also rather judgmental when it came to Winston Churchill. Margot Asquith felt that Churchill was occasionally something of a bumbler, often erring in judgment. She did, however, seem to hold some reverence for the man. She considered him a “born soldier,” in possession of great valor.
Of all subjects on which she writes, she mentions her husband more than anything. From telegrams he received, to an episode of nerves he suffered during a Cabinet meeting, and right up until he was cast out of office, Margot Asquith did not hesitate to capture every moment of Henry’s life. Though her tongue was often biting when speaking of many other men (especially politicians, it would seem), there is little doubt that she loved her husband above all else, the Mail Online reports.
Margot Asquith was brutally honest in her assessments of various people and topics regarding the war. Her diary, which is now available for purchase in print, is a collection of years’ worth of her personal writings. Perusal of the text within will allow readers an idea of what it might have felt like to live out the life of Margot Asquith, the wife of a wartime Prime Minister.