The Times then was a newspaper like no other in the world, an institutionalized anomaly, a national fact of life standing somewhere, perhaps, between the BBC and the Lord Chamberlain’s Office, with detectable undertones of the College of Arms… Even in those last days of the British Empire foreigners still took The Times to be an organ of the British Government, and respected — or disrespected its edicts accordingly. Within Britain people accepted it as the private instrument of a ruling class still cohesive and definable. The Times liked to call itself “A Newspaper for Gentlemen, Written by Gentlemen”, and the more elderly members of its staff were fluent in snobbish stories about it — “Tell the reporters to wait, Smithers, and show up the gentleman from The Times.”

Jan Morris, “Conundrum”.

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Chief theatre critic for The Times. Twitter: CliveDavisUK Facebook: Instagram: clivephotos
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