In this position he earned a reputation as a politician of thorough straightforwardness and grit, and as one who would maintain British interests independently of party; and he shared with Mr Asquith the reputation of being the ablest of the Imperialists who followed Lord Rosebery.
Lack of social graces and the deficiencies of his early education impeded him at first, but "in the end `Old Jack,' as he was always called, with his desperate earnestness, his unflinching straightforwardness, and his high sense of honour, came to be regarded with something like affection."
His military character was the enlargement of his personal character - "desperate earnestness, unflinching straightforwardness," and absolute, almost fatalist, trust in the guidance of providence.
In short, his learning and knowledge can be trusted little, but his goodwill and straightforwardness a great deal.
But he cannot be reproached with undue bias; he writes with the straightforwardness of a soldier, and is not ashamed on occasion to confess his ignorance.