Rochet and Chimère

V.S. Pritchett

For forty years, in person and in writing, Raymond Mortimer was an ornament of English literary journalism. He was at his best, I think, in the querulous Thirties and Forties when he was Literary Editor of the New Statesman. In the preface to his only book, a collection of essays with the typically Edwardian title of Channel Packet, he described himself ‘without humility’ as a journalist and not an author. But, he said, a ‘succession of hundred-yard sprints demands no less effort than a cross-country race.’

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