Nipping the Bud
From Malcolm Muggeridge, Chronicles of Wasted Time, vol. i: The Green Stick (London: Collins, 1972) pp. 147–8. Malcolm Muggeridge (b. 1903), journalist and author, married Katherine Dobbs, a niece of Beatrice Webb, in 1927. His speculations about Beatrice’s diaries suggest that her feelings about her husband’s friend were deeply ambivalent. Shaw threatened her security because as ‘an irregular artistic person’ he appealed to an aspect of herself that was rigorously suppressed in her marriage. Shaw described the extraordinary tension between them in a letter of 31 August 1895 to Janet Achurch, an actress with whom he enjoyed another triangular relationship in the 1890s (see Collected Letters 1874–1897, pp. 554–5). He told Janet then that the understanding between Sidney Webb and himself was fuller and easier than that between Sidney and Beatrice.