From the Guardian

In this Saturday’s Guardian Review section the author of Madame Doubtfire, Anne Fine, talks about her hero Robin Williams, you can read the article here.

Elsewhere, in the Guardian Weekend magazine there’s an article by the author Esther Freud. I haven’t read anything by her and after reading the article I doubt if I ever will. Her new book is called Mac and Me and the ‘Mac’ is actually Charles Rennie Mackintosh. I can’t help thinking that this book must have been put together in tearing haste to take advantage of Mackintosh having been in the news recently.

Freud briefly owned a cottage in Suffolk which she discovered had been an inn which Mackintosh had stayed in at some point, talk about tenuous links!

I have no idea what Esther Freud’s writing is like but given that she states towards the end of the Guardian article that the Glasgow School of Art was Mackintosh’s one and only project, I certainly don’t think anything of her research skills. Mackintosh may not have been a prolific architect but he definitely designed more than one building. There’s the Scotland Street School in Glasgow and Hill House in Helensburgh as well as a few houses in England and of course House for an Art Lover was built posthumously in Glasgow’s Bellahouston Park.

Such glaring mistakes make me wonder if Freud’s success in writing is solely because of that name ‘Freud’ with so many well known Freud relatives it certainly can’t be a disadvantage anyway. Not so much standing on the shoulders of giants as scrambling up the ankles of your ancestors. It makes me wonder why her editor didn’t point out just how wrong she was or do the editors at Bloomsbury not actually do any editing?

2 thoughts on “From the Guardian

  1. Thanks for this info, Katrina – an interesting post!

    I’ve heard of Esther Freud, but not read any of her books. I checked on Amazon for her book, which actually sounds interesting, a novel set during WW1. And I like Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s work, so it’s a shame she’s got her facts muddled/wrong. I am tempted to have a look at it when it comes out.

    And Robin Williams – so sad! Maybe I’ll read Madame Doubtfire – I hadn’t realised the film was based (even loosely) on a book.

    • Margaret,
      I think I’ll be giving it a miss as I’d probably find it too annoying and I have a lot of WWI setting books waiting for me to get around to them.
      I heard somewhere that Anne Fine got the name ‘Mrs Doubtfire’ from a sweetie shop in Edinburgh which was owned by a Mrs Doubtfire, it seems an unlikely name but I have since seen it elsewhere.

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