Alex Massie

Bounders in clubland

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I have been remiss, gentle reader, in failing to post another corker from The Daily Telegraph's obituary pages.

Lord Michael Pratt, who has died aged 61, will be remembered as one of the last Wodehouseian figures to inhabit London's clubland and as a much travelled author who pined for the days of Empire; he will also be remembered as an unabashed snob and social interloper on a grand scale.

Pratt would arrive at country houses announcing that he was en route to another castle or (even larger) stately home, and was intending to stay for only one night. Quite often the "night" would turn into weeks, and sometimes months.

Although he was generous with his conversation, gossip and anecdote, many hostesses tired of Pratt's failure to make anything but the smallest contribution to the house or staff.

Actually, now that I think of it, I've encountered these symptoms of bounderous behaviour before. But that's a tale for another time.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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