"Since Thesiger lived much of his life among foreign tribes, it is apposite to examine the nature of the tribe into which he himself was born in 1910. First of all, it was a tribe. The British aristocracy was socially exclusive, highly interbred, and despite being imbued with the ideals of duty, loyalty and service, owed allegiance to itself rather than to an abstract idea of 'Britain'. It might be said that for them, 'Britain' was the aristocracy, irrespective of the fact that they represented only 2 per cent of its population. In 1910 they were still distinguishable physically from the other classes: they were taller, more robust, and possessed a distinctive similarity of physical cast--jutting chins, oriental cheekbones, kedge-like noses, deep-set eyes. They were set apart, too, by the elegance of their attire, for in a world without dry-cleaning only the toff could afford to have his suit unstitched and the parts washed piecemeal."