Gilbert and Sullivan Archive


Also Happened in 1885

8.1 David Duffey's Patter

David Duffey wrote: There are a number of parallels between 1885 and 1997. Both were general election years.

8.1.1 British politics

In 1885 a moderately successful but deeply unpopular administration was ousted. This looks likely for 1997. Then, as now, there were two main parties and several minor ones. Lord Randolph Churchill - father of Winston (who was probably taken to a Mikado matinee by his nanny) - had broken away from a main party and was attempting to form one of his own.

8.1.2 Irish Nationalists

There were a series of bomb explosions in 1885, detonated by Irish Nationalists.

8.1.3 Sexual and fiscal scandal

There was grave concern expressed by Bishops in the House of Lords about the declining standards in public life. There were both sexual and fiscal scandals involving members of government and the Royal Household.

8.1.4 Praying Ladies of the Night

The outgoing Prime Minister used to rove the streets of Soho, returning with ladies of the night with whom he held prayer meetings at 10 Downing Street - I think that is a parallel.

Page created 17 March 1999