Lost to us, however, is the Edward who inspired an 18th-century use of the word, absent from the OED. It probably applies as rarely to drape- suited youths as it does to any toy bear. In her new biography of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu - a book of the year - Isabel Grundy notes that the letter-writer's adolescent daughter and her friends wrote poems about ogling "teddy lads": their hormones stirred at clever, desirable men. Not only is a library cheaper than a gym, it stands one in better stead.
KING EDWARD VII and Theodore Roosevelt have their place in history: one is the origin of the phrase teddy boy and the other, who combined bear- hunting with running America, was the inadvertent inspiration for those stuffed toys (as in picnic).