Character Sketch: August. Sir Charles W. Dilke
Regular Feature, Biography
Morality, Psychology, Heredity
After detailing how Charles W Dilke misled the electors of the Forest of Dean over his involvement in a divorce case, asks, 'How is it that a dissolute man of the world could stoop to so odious an imposture? [....] That is the problem that confronts us to-day. It is a terrible psychological study' (129). Proposes that it is simply 'a case of heredity and education', for, even as a child, Dilke was 'Predisposed by inherited instinct to self-indulgence' (130). Indeed, as a young man 'he gave himself over to the flesh, and the Devil claimed him as his own. Given a rich young man, hereditarily predisposed to excess, thrown into the hands of evil women of abnormal passion and corrupted life, and you have a problem that works out almost automatically in one fatal direction. The man becomes as corrupt as the woman, and his life is rotted at its source' (131).
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