Wednesday, February 16, 2005

CV of the week

"Sir Henry Woods, KCVO, Lt RN; late Admiral and Pasha in the Imperial Ottoman Naval Service; Grand Cordon of the Medijeh and Osmanieh; Knight Commander of the Saxe-Coburg Order; Aide-de-Camp for some years to the late Sultan, Abdul Hamid" -- self-description of an 1870s Turkish correspondent of the Manchester Guardian, from the title page of his autobiography, Spunyarn; quoted in Guardian: Biography of a Newspaper, by David Ayerst.

To judge by what Ayerst says, much of the rest of Spunyarn consists of boasting about the lies Woods told various newspapers. Still, having government officials deceive your readers directly was probably cheaper than embedding.

[Guardian: Biography of a Newspaper, by David Ayerst (Collins, 1971). Read as part of this blog's continued stalking of C.E. Montague (last episode here), this turns out nonetheless to be more interesting than your average institutional biography -- and a hell of a lot more so than Changing Faces, the post-1956 follow-up volume. Is aided by fifty years of C.P. Scott, and an astonishing photograph of the crowds at his funeral procession in Manchester.]

No comments: