Anthony Julius

Anthony Julius

The Most Beautiful Manners

Many years ago, I took a train journey to Birmingham with my father and a non-Jewish business associate whom I will call ‘Arthur’. I was ten or eleven years old at the time, and I would often tag along on these business trips, when school allowed. My father owned a number of menswear shops, mainly in the West Country. He had enjoyed considerable success in business, and it was a familiar experience for me to see him in the company of other businessmen seeking his advice or asking for favours. Arthur was one such man, and his conversations with my father always had a slightly cloying, ingratiating quality. I remember that on this occasion he was talking about his daughter, who was about my age but whom I had not met. Arthur rambled on, my father patiently listening, while I read a book.