Letter: My country's writer wronged

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IT WAS amusing to read Geoffrey Wheatcroft's claim that Roddy Doyle's Booker Prize- winning novel should be regarded as British because his country was, long before his birth, part of the British Empire ('Britannia rules the page,' 31 October). There is indeed an English cultural influence in Ireland, but providing some ingredients is not the same as baking the cake. England was conquered by the Normans - who never left - and the English language is still infused with the French words they brought. Does Mr Wheatcroft regard everything produced in England since 1066 as French?

David Byrden