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Balfour at Waddesdon

In response to:

The Rothschild Taste from the June 25, 2015 issue

To the Editors:

James Fenton’s excellent article on the treasures of Waddesdon Manor [NYR, June 25] overlooked one treasure that is unique and unexpected. During a visit there recently I was stunned to see displayed rather unobtrusively in a small glass case (with several other relatively unimportant items) the original Balfour Declaration! There it is, the letter from UK Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour to Walter Rothschild in November 1917 stating that His Majesty’s Government favors and will facilitate the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people. It states also that nothing shall be done “which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities….” Another reason to visit this extraordinary house.

Roger Dee, MD, Ph.D., FRCS
Setauket, New York