W.N.P. Barbellion / Footnotes/ William Haley

Found- a press cutting of an article from The Times in 1964 by 'Oliver Edwards'. This was a pseudonym for the editor Sir William J. Haley (1901-1987) where he indulged his love of books and book lore. He shared a name with the first rock and roll star Bill Haley but was 2 decades older than the great rocker. Many of his bibliophilic articles are preserved in Talking of Books, Heinemann, London 1957. This  press cutting was found in a copy of W.N.P. Barbellion's Last Diary (Chatto, London 1920) and the first part deals with another of WNPB's books. Barbellion (another pseudonym) died tragically young but had some good things to say about death which are preserved at his Wikipedia entry. The article by Edwards/Haley is good on the subject of footnotes, but seems to come from an era way before the swinging sixties…

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I once met….. William Rees Mogg

Sent in by a Jot regular - this moving account. In the rare book trade he was renowned for having returned an expensive book he had bought from another bookseller, saying 'I did not find it as saleable as I had hoped.' Only someone as eminent as the ex-editor of The Times could get away with such an excuse. The shot below is of him with Mick Jagger at a TV discussion in 1967 after William Rees Mogg's 'Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel' editorial condemning a jail term handed to Mick for dope offences. At the time he was 10 years older than the great Stone.

This was after he’d left the editorial chair of The Times and was running the very posh Pickering and Chatto antiquarian bookshop in Pall Mall. Before I arranged to interview him I had mugged up on his tastes by reading the guide to book collecting that  he’d published a few years earlier. I must admit that I was a little intimidated by his reputation—not just as a high Tory patrician figure from the higher reaches of journalism—but also as someone whose refined tastes in Augustan literature were likely to show up my own thin knowledge of this area.

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Mortimer on British Class System 1969

A typed signed manuscript with ink corrections by Raymond Mortimer and a typed signed letter of rejection from the then Sunday Times editor Harold Evans.

Mortimer's article is now somewhat outdated, although a class system still exists in Britain. 'The Nobility' has now been largely replaced by celebrities and there is now, as in America, a much greater emphasis on money. It seems at the time the Sunday Times was running a series of articles on class by well known writers.

April 18th, 1969

Mr. Raymond Mortimer, CBE,
5 Canonbury Place,

Dear Raymond,

  I'm sorry that I agree with you that I don't think it is quite pointed enough. I think it would need to have some specific symbols of class. The Snowdon observation about class and motoring is the sort of thing I mean:

Saloon car with two husbands in front, their two wives behind = lower class.

Ditto with mixed couples in front and back = middle class.

Ditto with no one in back, husband and somebody elses wife in front = upper class.

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