EVEN AT THE distance of seventy years there is still fascination with the question of what could possibly have persuaded so many among the British aristocracy of the 1930s that Adolf Hitler needed to be appeased. Even after the moment in mid-March 1939 when his invasion of the rump of Czechoslovakia showed that the Führer had clearly been lying when he had said he only wanted to gather Aryans, and not Slavs, into the Third Reich, the desire for appeasement continued in some upper-class circles.
Were they Fascists themselves, or 'fellow travellers of the Right'? Had their families' bravery and political leadership simply been blown away two decades earlier on the Somme? Did their fear and hatred of Bolshevism blind them to a mirror-image danger from Nazism? Were they just too dim to spot the