George Nathaniel Curzon, 1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston, KG, GCSI, GCIE, PC was a man few of us can afford to forget. Besides keeping the bloody Russians out of India, he wore a metal corset to combat a spinal injury from horseback riding – no sissy chiropractics for the Viceroy of India. Let us go back a way, shall we? When he was our age, he slayed chicks and classics at Oxford. That was before he became elected a fellow to All’s Souls with the attendant privilege of pissing on proletariat academics from Gothic heights. A most superior person, truthfully. By now, he could also afford to have his old governess ducked in a lake for once taking away his teddy. That showed the bitch. He was going places.
Curzon visited Russia and Central Asia to study the Yellow Peril in addition to touring Afghanistan, the Pamirs, Persia, Siam, French Indochina, Korea. Along the way, he picked up a wife and some daughters. His son-in-laws included Edward “Fruity” Metcalfe and Oswald Mosley, the creator of the British Fascist Party. Nevertheless, Curzon continued to deride both as homosexuals every time he carved the turkey at family events. He followed Victorian lore in this practice, believing that homosexuals cannot neatly serve turkey. Oh, and he helped suppress some frontier uprisings in India by 1898. He marveled at the elephant, calling the creature “marvelous.”
India was kind of cool, according to reports. Lord “Mustaches” Kitchener was a problem for Curzon but, well, he was a problem for everyone and India kept him away from most everyone (excepting Curzon). Curzon contemplated outgrowing Kitchener in terms of mustaches, but decided against it; numerous diary entries attest to the inner turmoil of this period in his life. Kitchener made his way over to graphic art history and bopping on the Boers, leaving Curzon with the relief that Kitchener was probably a homosexual. An uptick in tiger-hunting proved another source of relaxation for our busy viceroy. At least, Curzon enjoyed himself until realizing that his title translated to something like “king instead of …”. He promptly returned to England, importing many tigers at personal cost for the dark days ahead.
In England, Curzon stood for Ireland. This is figurative language: he actually didn’t care about it one whit, and his chairs were luxurious. Instead, he devoted his time to combating the insidious Anti-Suffrage League and marrying another woman. She was Grace Elvina Hinds, a wealthy Alabama-born widow. This failed to dispel rumors that Curzon was a stick-in-the-mud. In later years, wags joked that despite his political disappointments Curzon still enjoyed “the means of Grace.” Such collegiality has since sunk beneath the horizon of the British Empire.
Things were ripping along to the First World War. After that though, Curzon became Foreign Secretary. The feathers to his cap overflowethéd. He determined the borders of Poland, dominated the Council of Lausanne, and made fun of “that moniker” Andrew Law Bonar. His sponsoring of prospective ‘Bonar Laws’ were ascribed to his childish sense of humor. Grace was not amused. Lloyd George was immensely tickled, in his own quiet fashion. Bladder problems soon carried off the Marquess of Kendleston. Curzon left behind him a gaggle of daughters and various gay or fascist grandchildren.