Even more dubious about demography

by Chris Bertram on November 13, 2006

From chapter 6 of E.M Forster’s _Howard’s End_ (1910):

“Evening, Mr. Bast.”

“Evening, Mr. Cunningham.”

“Very serious thing this decline of the birth-rate in Manchester.”

“I beg your pardon?”

“Very serious thing this decline of the birth-rate in Manchester,” repeated Mr. Cunningham, tapping the Sunday paper, in which the calamity in question had just been announced to him.

“Ah, yes,” said Leonard, who was not going to let on that he had not bought a Sunday paper.

“If this kind of thing goes on the population of England will be stationary in 1960.”

“You don’t say so.”

“I call it a very serious thing, eh?”

“Good-evening, Mr. Cunningham.”

“Good-evening, Mr. Bast.”



stostosto 11.13.06 at 7:45 am

“Good afternoon, Mr. Bertram”.


“The birth-rate in Manchester, you say? Ah, yes. Very serious thing, indeed. But at 1.84 it’s at least above national average”.

“is that so?”

“Yes. But more to the point, it’s much higher than that of Liverpool. It’s only 1.48 for them scally scousers, snort.


“Heartening, I should say, eh?”

“Good afternoon, er…”


John Emerson 11.13.06 at 8:06 am

Mr. Deasy:

“And the pity of it that the ignorant Irish Catholics continue to proliferate, being kept alive by the misguided charitable impulses of the English.”


MQ 11.13.06 at 1:39 pm

Life was better before all of our Mr. Cunninghams had blogs. Not to mention op-ed columns.


sm 11.13.06 at 9:36 pm

Ever read Asimov’s R. Daneel Olivaw books? Caves of Steel and The Naked Sun?

Comments on this entry are closed.