Unless correspondents ask us not to, this Website will post selected letters that it receives and invite open debate.
Emmanuelle LeBoutillier writes from Paris, Saturday, August 2, 2003 about the pictures of the 1946 Nuremberg hangings
Kimber, Byng, and des autres
THIS doesn't matter a damn, but one might as well . . . etc. "Pour encourager les autres" [Radical's Diary, July 31, 2003] is actually a phrase from Voltaire's "Candide" - "Dans ce pay-ci, il est bon de tuer de temps en temps un amiral pour encourager les autres." It was, of course, in reference to the recently-liquidated Admiral Byng.
He was no more generous with his authors when I was dealing with him in the latish 1980's; when he told me of the proposed advance on my first book, I actually thought he was joking. By then his office staff consisted of a truly amazing bunch of near-Dickensian stereotypes. There was Cliff, the lisping Uriah Heep of an assistant; the alcoholic vamp receptionist who picked biscuit crumbs off ones trousers extremely slowly; the editor who discussed ones MS with a teddy bear propped up on her desk.
Present-day publishers are all bastards, of course, but few of them are actually insane. Or maybe not.
Bookmark the download page to find the latest new free books
David Irving replies:
YES, but William Kimber -- who was always refererd to by others as "Peter", heaven knows why -- did provide a niche in which a large number of minor authors like myself first found our feet. I remember that his titles were hardly inspiring however. One book of admiral's memoirs was given the title Sailor at Sea. I still recall fondly the chats I had with him; a father figure, very kind and well meaning and often turning out to be infuriatingly right.