The little book of handwritten limericks Larry produced in 1941 when he and Nancy were in Kalamata has come up for auction, triggering an extraordinarily prurient and silly article by someone called Jack Malvern in Saturday’s Times. I feel a moment of shock/horror coming on – not at the little poems, which are harmless, but at the po-faced Pudding Islandness of the article. 4 columns are devoted to the booklet, but of course, no quotes can be given because they are ‘too obscene to appear in a family newspaper’.
The limerick which is illustrated also happens to be the one I quoted in my book:
There was a fair maid of Corfu
Who blocked up her joy-place with glue
With a certain mistrust
She was widely discussed
By the two or three people who knew.
The illustration is equally shocking (not).
Actually, as the book I have co-written with Alex and Marcus Lewis and which is published tomorrow (Tell Me Who I Am) is genuinely shocking, this kind of mimsy pretending to be shocked I find quite pathetic. The little book of limericks was handwritten and given to a friend, so entirely private. I hope Larry is chortling somewhere far from Pudding Island in another place, but my father Edward Hodgkin, one time Deputy Editor of The Times, must be turning in his grave at this Daily Mailish idiocy.