People: Words & Music

In an article for Britain's weekly Spectator, Author Harold Nicolson discussed the delicate problem of writing tasteful but truthful obituary notices of well-known lusty characters. The English necrologists, he said, have developed a special technique: "To tell the truth by denying its opposite." For example, it was said of the late novelist Norman Douglas: "His worst enemy could not have accused him of being either a hypocrite or a puritan." The past master of this art, Nicolson decided, was Sir Sidney Lee, author of the official biography of King Edward VII, who loved to eat his royal meals in a...

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