Debretts Peerage

From The Spectator, 30th December 1916

The stately Debretts Peerage, Baronetage, Knightage, and Companionage for 1917, edited by A. G. M. Heselrige (Dean and Sons, 37s. 6d. net), makes its appearance with its accustomed regularity, and, despite the exceptional work entailed by the havoc of war, has been corrected up to December 5th.

The long Roll of Honour given at the outset includes a member of the Royal family, fourteen peers, twenty-one baronets, nine knights, and nine Members of Parliament, besides many sons of peers and other titled persons, and the end is not yet.

The preface gives interesting particulars concerning new peerages and the dormant peerages that have been revived in the past year. In all, the new honours of the year numbered two thousand five hundred and twenty.

Debrett suggests that the new Food Controller should be styled “Chief Larderer”, the title of an ancient office long since forgotten, the holder of which had to provide the Coronation banquet.

Mr. Asquith’s resignation was announced as the editor finished his preface.

Dod’s Peerage for 1917, (Simpkin, Marshall, and Co., 10s. 6d. net), now in its seventy-seventh year, has undergone careful revision, and, wherever we have tested it, is commendably accurate. The alphabetical arrangement of all the titled persons named is very convenient, and the list of titles that are dormant or in abeyance is an interesting feature, especially as the peerage lawyers were never more busy than now in reviving forgotten dignities. Occurrences up to November 20th are noted in the introductory matter, and there is a sadly long list of brave men, formerly mentioned in Dod, who have died on the battlefield.

Who’s Who, 1917 (A. and C. Black, 20s. net) is bulkier, and to that extent more indispensable than ever. There are now over twenty-five thousand biographies in the book, each of which has been revised by the subject. The industrial world is less fully represented than the literary world, but the difficulty of including all the local leaders of commerce and manufacture is no doubt considerable.

Who’s Who Year-Book, 1917 (same publishers, 1s. net) is the necessary supplement to the larger work, as it contains lists of Members of Parliament, officials, members of Societies, and so forth, with, as a new feature, a list of living V.C.’s. It is a valuable little handbook in itself.

The Writers’ and Artists’ Year-Book, 1917 (same publishers, 1s. 6d. net) is, to the professions concerned, without a rival, and has been revised with care for the new year.

The Churchman’s Year-Book and Encyclopaedia, 1917 (Mowbray and Co., 1s. 6d. net) is now in its ninth year, so that its usefulness has been fully appreciated. It is divided into three parts: biographies of well-known Churchmen, general information on Church matters arranged alphabetically, and tabulated notes on church services in London and the provinces, indicating the ritual observed at each church. It contains in a small compass a great deal of matter which one would not find so easily elsewhere.