Niranjana (BrownPaper) wrote a post recently about books that ‘suck’, in retrospect and Biggles books are apparently in that category. Now I’ve never read a Biggles book as I was brought up in that era where girls were kept away from anything really exciting and supposedly ‘boyish’. I know that we have at least one Biggles book in the house which was my husband’s but as usual I can’t find it.
However, in my searching I did discover this one by Joseph Conrad which as you can see has what we now think of as a shocking title. This is one of the many books which we’ve inherited from dead relatives. It’s a sad fact that we’ve had to do at least four house clearances within our families – parents, grandparents and even a great aunt who had no children, so we’ve accumulated a lot of old books over the years.
My husband’s grandad was the Conrad fan and I’m sure that ‘the n word’ was one which he would never have used as he was a well educated church minister. The book was first published in 1897 but that isn’t really much of an excuse. I know that John Buchan wrote ‘the n word’ occasionally, but it was always put in the mouth of an ill-educated rough kind of character, who obviously didn’t know any better.
Anyway, on the bright side, I like to think and hope that things have improved since those days. In Scotland this is Black History Month which is an annual celebration which aims at bringing the various cultures of Scotland together.