Algernon West

British civil servant

Sir Algernon Edward West GCB PC (4 April 1832 – 21 March 1921) was a British civil servant and from 1861 to 1894 the Principal Private Secretary to Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone.

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  • It was soon after my first acquaintance with Mr. Gladstone that he told me how impossible it was for a Minister and his secretary adequately to perform their respective duties unless there was established between them such an absolute confidence as in a happy domestic life should exist between a man and his wife.
  • Society, which, at the beginning of the Queen's reign, was strict, formal, and circumscribed, has followed the trend of other things, and taken a hint from commercial legislation. It has entered into an enormous syndicate, under the rules of strictly limited liability. Individualism is stamped out; Collectivism has come in. The rush and rapidity of thought and action, supplemented by all the appliances of modern science, have largely increased.
  • Lecky, in his delightful "Map of Life," lays great stress on the advantages of Tact. No doubt it is a splendid asset in a man's character, smoothing his passage through life and leading to success, but I still maintain that work and the love of it is the noblest gift that can be granted and that best repays itself.

Quotes about Algernon West edit

  • Sir Algernon West ... is a good, genial gossip, whose recollections cover the whole period of English history that began with the Reform Act. He was private secretary to Mr. Gladstone during his first Prime Ministership. ... He is a fervent Gladstonian, whose idolatry of his chief is quite refreshing in these days, in which the memory of this great man is the mark for so many cynical sneers.

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