Grotty Cecil

Simon Raven

  • Dornford Yates: A Tragedy by A.J. Smithers
    Hodder, 240 pp, £8.95, March 1982, ISBN 0 340 27547 2

The minute Dornford Yates was dead in 1960, the mating calls of envy and resentment were heard hissing over the bier. The smelly little judgments which they spawned are now grown great and paramount. Dornford Yates, the orthodox legend runs in 1982, made a fortune out of writing best-sellers which appeal to the worst in all of us. They were and are sadistic in tone and action, feudal and fascist in sympathy, the ripely festering recipes of an arrogant racist authoritarian snobby sexist old pig: they should be (indeed they often have been) removed from the school libraries to make room for books about proper people.

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