Edwardian Sage Predicts Twenty's Plenty

Sunday 19th April 1936

Max Beerbohm, the last survivor of the Oscar Wilde generation of wits, devoted a radio talk entitled "Speed" to bemoaning the acceleration of modern life. Your people, he found, talked faster than he when he was young. He was only 63 but somehow contrived to sound much older.

He reserved his most doom-laden venom for a denunciation of speeding motorists, who inflicted the "habitual masscres" on the road. They were like cannon-balls, not dangerous in themselves, only if you happened to get in the way. More stringent driving tests were needed but ultimately the only solution would be a draconian speed limit of 20mph across the country.


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