Pot calling kettle…

A review by freelance journalist Stuart Jeffries in this week’s Spectator of Jane Haynes new book, If I Chance to Talk a Little Wild, published by Quartet, is certainly causing a bit of a rumpus in the academic world. Jane is a formidable lady who has the knack of stirring up the Establishment, as the title of her book truly infers.

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Professor Christopher Prendergast takes issue on many points with Jeffries in a letter he addresses to the Spectator criticising the review for many of its inaccuracies with no holds barred in the language he uses. Could this be the beginning of the best sort of running battle for which Academia is so noted for? Let’s wait and see.

Jeffries takes a swipe at Quartet along the way, suggesting our jacket copy detracts from the book’s merit by its use of an endorsement from the actor and comedian Matt Lucas and our mentioning in our author’s biography that Tatler described her London consultancy as one of London’s most prestigious private practices. Perhaps the 5 quotes on his own latest book jacket are from a better class of person? And calling his memoir of watching television Mrs Slocombe’s Pussy was not a commercial choice to catch some attention, but a serious piece of social criticism from an important critic. Go figure…

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