Daily Mail

Liberal with his affection


QUESTION Did Lloyd George really have 32 secretarie­s?

THE historian A.J.P. Taylor once remarked that Lloyd George was called the Welsh Wizard by his admirers and The Goat by those who disliked him.

Lloyd George was Liberal Prime Minister from 1916 to 1922. He was a powerful orator who connected with ordinary people and succeeded in galvanisin­g a nation into a ‘dynamic war machine’ during World War I.

He was equally famous for his prodigious libido that resulted in countless affairs and rumours that he kept an entourage

of female secretarie­s and had a love child in every town in Britain.

As a young lawyer in Criccieth, Gwynedd, he was a notorious carouser. Girls were warned off him, especially Maggie Owen, the deacon’s daughter. This was a red rag to a bull and the couple married in 1888.

However, within a few months he strayed with a Liberal Party activist known only as Mrs J. He went on to seduce countless women.

His son Dick described how in later life he was ‘surrounded by bevies of female retainers... many had official positions: there were bee-keepers, Land Girls, filing clerks, librarians, maids of all sorts or just plain “visitors”, gallant and giggling ladies with exotic airs and graces’.

Family and friends were not immune: he impregnate­d his wife’s cousin, Kitty edwards; had an affair with ‘Mrs Tim’, who was married to his friend Timothy Davies; and a liaison with Julia Henry, a Liberal MP’s wife.

His most shocking conquest, much to the horror of his family, was his son Dick’s troubled wife roberta.

Perhaps the most important person in his life was his private secretary and mistress Frances Stevenson.

She was with him through the second half of his Chancellor­ship, at the Ministry of Munitions and the War Office, six years as prime minister and his decades in

Opposition. She accompanie­d him on official travels, including Paris for the peace negotiatio­ns in 1919, and prepared

material for his multi-volume War Memoirs. He kept her in a London flat, but she would move into his Surrey home whenever his wife was in Wales.

She had two abortions before giving birth to his daughter, Jennifer.

Two years after Lloyd George’s wife died, he married Frances. He died less than 18 months later, aged 82, with Frances and his daughter Megan at his bedside.

Mary Gray, Shrewsbury, Shropshire.

QUESTION Is there a cloud in outer space made of alcohol?

THERE’S a region of the Milky Way called W3, 6,200 light-years away in the Perseus Arm. It’s there that a massive bridgeshap­ed cloud of methyl alcohol was discovered in 2006. The cloud spans 288 billion miles and is 1,000 times larger than our solar system.

On earth, methyl alcohol is known as wood alcohol, a poisonous form used to make antifreeze, pesticides, windshield wiper fluid, paint thinner and fuel.

The alcohol cloud was discovered by researcher­s led by Dr Lisa Harvey-Smith using the updated Multi-element radio Linked Interferom­eter Network (MerLIN) system controlled from the Jodrell Bank Observator­y in Cheshire.

These observatio­ns revealed giant filaments of gas emitting as masers (microwave amplificat­ion by stimulated emission of radiation molecules).

Beams of microwave radiation are emitted in much the same way as a laser emits beams of light.

The discovery challenged the convention­al view in astrophysi­cs that interstell­ar chemistry could not provide the conditions for creating complex organic molecules.

In 2016, the Atacama Large Millimetre/ submillime­tre Array (ALMA) found methyl alcohol closer to home in the TW Hydrae protoplane­tary disc only 170 lightyears away.

This rotating dense gas and dust surroundin­g a new star closely resembles what astronomer­s think the solar system looked like during its formation more than four billion years ago.

L. B. Singh, Lancaster.

QUESTION Have any actors who wed each other in a film gone on to get married in real life?

DISNEY’S 1991 film The Marrying Man was a Neil Simon comedy about a playboy who keeps falling in and out of love with the same woman, marrying her three times.

The production became notorious after stars Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger fell head over heels in love at first sight. They spent much of their time disappeari­ng off set like besotted teenagers.

The crew claimed Basinger was a prima donna. She was late arriving on set and held up scenes with unreasonab­le requests. She claimed she had an

aversion to sunlight so needed an employee as her personal umbrella holder and would only wash her hair in evian water.

The couple married in 1993, had a daughter, Ireland, in 1995 and divorced in 2002.

Volunteers was a 1985 comedy featuring Tom Hanks, John Candy and rita Wilson. Set in the 1960s, Hanks plays a spoiled

college graduate who joins the Peace Corps to escape creditors chasing him for gambling debts.

On the way to Thailand, he befriends genuine volunteers played by Wilson and Candy. Wilson initially loathes Hanks, but eventually comes round and the two are married in the final scene.

In 1988, they married in real life and are still together in one of Hollywood’s most enduring relationsh­ips.

Danny Darcy, Reading, Berks.

IS THERE a question to which you want to know the answer? Or do you know the answer to a question here? Write to: Charles Legge, Answers To Correspond­ents, Daily Mail, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5TT; or email charles.legge@dailymail.co.uk. A selection is published, but we’re unable to enter into individual correspond­ence.

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 ??  ?? The Goat: Liberal PM Lloyd George
The Goat: Liberal PM Lloyd George

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