Dizzy's wise words

A letter in The Times on June 22  took issue with an article which claimed that the word “anecdotage” had been coined recently. In that letter, a misleading reference was made to Disraeli. Alistair Lexden sorted it out in a further letter, published on June 24.

Sir, Richard Barber (letter, Jun 22) writes that a forebear used the word “anecdotage” in 1890, but the quotation by which he attributed its origin to Disraeli is not accurate. What Disraeli, writing in 1870, said was that “when a man fell into his anecdotage it was a sign for him to retire from the world.” It is a pity that more people do not take that wise advice.

Lord Lexden
Conservative Party historian