Obituary: John Carswell
Friday 28 November 1997
Although I never met the other John Carswell, over the years our paths have crossed with some confusion. His mother was Catherine Carswell, a friend of D.H. Lawrence; my mother bore the same name, and was not. He was a writer and so am I; indeed, at one stage we both had the same publisher, Oxford University Press, which was under the illusion in its catalogue that we were one and the same. When I was sent his royalties by mistake, I was cheered up to find they were as meagre as mine.
A little later, I received a letter from Sir George Weidenfeld, correctly addressed to me in Beirut, inviting me to write a book about the rise of the British economy in the 18th century. I replied that, while this was not in the forefront of my mind, I would be happy to write about the fall of the Armenians in the 17th century. I did not receive a reply.
Over the years, I had bills both from his wine merchant and his bootmaker. I also received an invitation to become a member of the Travellers Club, which I accepted with alacrity. I may well be an impostor.
When he was Secretary of the British Academy, he sent me a letter addressed to "Dear John Carswell" telling me the academy had just awarded me a grant of pounds 5,000, and signed "John Carswell". At this point he must surely have become aware of the complications of having an alter ego. In 1967, as I wrote fervent letters to the Times from Beirut about the plight of the Palestinians, it was unfortunately he who became the target of vociferous attacks from British Zionists, who had looked up the name in the London telephone book.
We never met, and friends who knew both of us said that this was perhaps just as well. But, now he is no longer with us, I rather miss him.
- 1 Notting Hill Carnival: Woman shares selfie after being ‘punched in face for telling man to stop groping her’
- 2 Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
- 3 Oil tanker with $100 million cargo goes missing off Texas coast
- 4 George Galloway left with severe bruising after attack in Notting Hill by man 'shouting about the Holocaust'
- 5 Medina: Saudis take a bulldozer to Islam's history
YouTube video posted by Isis militants shows 'execution of 250 Syrian soldiers'
Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
Oil tanker with $100 million cargo goes missing off Texas coast
George Galloway left with severe bruising after attack in Notting Hill by man 'shouting about the Holocaust'
Brother and sister, Christopher Buckner and Timothy Savoy, arrested for 'committing incest after watching 'The Notebook''
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
- < Previous
- Next >
£45000 - £69999 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Algo-Develo...
£60000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Senior Data Sc...
£50000 - £80000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: Data Sci...
£350 - £400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Cent...