Miskatonic University Press

Thank you for sharing your thoughts


I like this quote from Brian Thompson’s Imperial Vanities (Harper Collins, 2002, p. 196):

Granville’s political nickname was Puss and there is a story of how the Liberal Lord Goschen once wrote him an infuriated letter, detailing all his complaints and threatening that if he did not receive satisfaction he would be forced to resign. Puss replied in a single elegant sentence: “Thank you for sharing your thoughts so generously with old colleagues.”

That’s Granville Leveson-Gower, 2nd Earl Granville responding to George Goschen, 1st Viscount Goschen.

Unfortunately there’s no citation for this quote; indeed the book lacks both footnotes and an index, and the bibliography is not inspiring. Granville’s nickname (all his life) was actually “Pussy,” from the sources I see, such as his entry in The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (“Universally judged to be an amiable young man, he attracted a variety of nicknames, of which the one that stuck for life was ‘Pussy’;” it also notes “Granville was no fool. His urbanity defused many situations”) and page 23 of The Life of Granville George Leveson Gower, Second Earl Granville, K. G., 1815–1891 by Lord Edmond FitzMaurice:

The possession of a nickname among friends is said to be a sign of popularity. At Eton, Granville Leveson-Gower was ‘Alcibiades:’ at Oxford he was ‘Crichton:’ among his London friends he was ‘Pussy,’ a title he never lost; in his own family he was ‘Gink,’ a term the origin of which is wrapped in mystery.

I can’t find the quote in any other source. Without any further evidence I can’t accept that Granville ever wrote it. Nevertheless, I like it and may use it.

I don’t recommend Imperial Vanities. It’s about Valentine Baker, Samuel Baker and General Charles Gordon, and the interested reader wanting any introduction to their lives and times would be better off reading a biography of any of them, and The White Nile and The Blue Nile by Alan Morehead or something by Byron Farwell.