Literary hoax/Betjeman-Biograf getäuscht

A bit off topic this, but still. The Sunday Times reports that A.N.Wilson was delighted to record in his biography that John Betjeman had a more exciting love life than previously thought.

bq. The letter begins: “Darling Honor, I loved yesterday. All day I’ve thought of nothing else. No other love I’ve had means so much.”
Later on in the letter the poet waxed that “love has given me a miss for so long and now this miracle has happened. Sex is a part of it, of course.”
Betjeman then ended the letter: “Tinkerty-tonk, my Darling. I pray I’ll hear from you tomorrow. If I don’t I’ll visit your office in a fake beard. All love, JB.”
Close study of the letter, however, shows that the capital letters at the beginning of each sentence spell out a message: “AN Wilson is a shit”.

There is more to the story, and if he didn’t deny it, one might almost believe the hoax was done by a fellow-Betjeman-biographer who can’t stand Wilson. The evidence came from an untraceable address on the Côte D’Azur. Well, it can’t have been Joe Orton or Peter Cook. At all events, it was too late to remove the story from Wilson’s book.

2 thoughts on “Literary hoax/Betjeman-Biograf getäuscht

  1. And I read in my Sunday paper that the envelope still had on the back a small label showing that it had been bought in a shop in the very town where the fellow-biographer lives… strange thing, coincidence, nicht wahr?

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