The Spectator is publishing its annual list of Books of the Year selected by various writers. Among the choices in this week’s column is this one by journalist Lewis Jones, who writes for both the Spectator and the Telegraph:
I notice belatedly that the ‘scholar’ Alexander Waugh has published a ‘book’, [that is] counter-factual. Shakespeare in Court (Kindle Single, sensibly priced at £0.00) argues that Shakespeare’s works must have been written by a proper toff, and not only one whose verses C.S. Lewis thought showed ‘faint talent’, but also one who rather inconveniently died before the composition of Othello, King Lear, Macbeth etc. It seems to me that Alexander is barking up the wrong tree. Since at least 2014 it has been obvious to a growing number of snobbishly ignorant but determined conspiracy theorists that his grandfather Evelyn, who came from Golders Green, went to a minor public school and scraped a Third at Hertford, could not possibly have written Brideshead Revisited. Their favoured candidate is Nancy Mitford, whose mortal remains, they believe, were secretly stuffed and mounted at the Church of St Peter & St Paul, Combe Florey.
Jones’ other choice (also selected by novelist Susan Hill) is Craig Brown’s cod biography of Princess Margaret, Ma’am Darling.