‘I’ll crush you with my Daimler!’

A.N. Wilson

  • Prince Charming: A Memoir by Christopher Logue
    Faber, 340 pp, £20.00, September 1999, ISBN 0 571 19768 X

There’s a moment in this book – some time in the 1960s – when Christopher Logue and Adrian Mitchell have been asked to Hintlesham Hall in Suffolk to do a poetry reading. They ring the doorbell and a liveried footman tells them that they should go to the servants’ entrance. ‘I said, let’s leave. “No,” Adrian said. “We’ve come all this way. We’ll earn our money.” ’ They are given high tea in the servants’ hall: two pieces of Spam, sliced bread, margarine, an apple, a piece of seed cake. Water and/or tea to drink. When they are finally invited in to read, ‘Adrian and I decided to give our best ... We read. By best, we meant bluntest. I added a number of “fucks” and “cunts” to otherwise quite decorous poems. Then we left.’

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