As we saw on a previous page of this exhibition, E.M. Forster considered his mother shrewd, though not intelligent. In contrast, Maynard seems to have appreciated his mother as an intellectual.
Intellectual discussion between this mother and son is quite apparent in their correspondence concerning Maynard’s work as a delegate of the British Treasury at the Paris Peace Conference, in 1919, and subsequently his book The Economic Consequences of the Peace. The extent of his frustration about the conference can be seen in the letter he sent his mother on 14 May 1919.
It appears Florence Ada Keynes may have had an influence on Maynard’s book The Economic Consequences of the Peace, providing corrections and being asked to corroborate facts, particularly in relation to the inclusion of the Sir Eric Geddes’ simile of squeezing Germany like a lemon. Geddes’ comments were made in a speech at the Guildhall at Cambridge, on 10 November 1919. At that time, he was MP for Cambridge and Florence Ada Keynes was a magistrate and the city’s first female councillor.
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First page of a letter from John Maynard Keynes to Florence Ada Keynes, 14 May 1919 (JMK/PP/45/168/9/168).
Second page of a letter from John Maynard Keynes to Florence Ada Keynes, 14 May 1919 (JMK/PP/45/168/9/169).
Article concerning Sir Eric Geddes’ speech, printed in Cambridge Daily News, 12 November 1919 (JMK/EC/1/30).
First page of a letter from John Maynard Keynes to Florence Ada Keynes, 12 November 1919 (JMK/PP/45/168/10/21).
Second page of a letter from John Maynard Keynes to Florence Ada Keynes, 12 November 1919 (JMK/PP/45/168/10/22).