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Re: Politics makes for strange bedfellows

Posted by ESC on January 01, 2006

In Reply to: Re: Politics makes for strange bedfellows posted by Victoria S Dennis on January 01, 2006

: : anyone familiar with the origin of "politics makes for strange bedfellows"

: Like so much else, it's originally from Shakespeare: "Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows" (from The Tempest). In the 19th century it was adapted by Lord Lytton: "Poverty has strange bedfellows". I don't know who first attached it to "politics", but I have also heard "necessity makes strange bedfellows".

POLITICS MAKES STRANGE BEDFELLOWS - "enemies forced by circumstances to work together; members of an unlikely alliance, often attacked as an 'unholy alliance.' 'True it is,' wrote Charles Dudley Warner in 1850, 'that politics makes strange bedfellows.' Warner, editor of the 'Hartford (Conn.) Courant,' was co-author with Mark Twain of 'The Gilded Age,'; he might have taken the expression from Edward George Bulwer-Lytton's novel 'The Caxtons,' published in 1849, which contained the phrase 'Poverty has strange bedfellows.' More likely the source for both was Act II, scene 2 of Shakespeare's 'The Tempest'." From "Safire's New Political Dictionary" by William Safire (Random House, New York, 1993). Page 762-763.