Hugh Massingberd

O Father, Where Art Thou?

Right Royal Bastards: The Fruits of Passion

By

Burke’s Peerage & Gentry 206pp £19.99 order from our bookshop

In these mealy-mouthed, politically correct days, the word ‘bastard’ packs a more powerful punch than one might suppose – as I discovered not so long ago during a kiddies’ chat show on regional television presided over by a green animatronic Martian (don’t ask). Invited to explain the euphemisms employed in obituaries, I said that ‘he did not suffer fools gladly’ translated as ‘he was a complete bastard’. Shock, horror. The recording was stopped, and high-level conferences held as to whether such an ‘emotive’ word could be transmitted.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'One of the best aspects of Kaufmann’s book is its optimism' Here's @BurlM11's review of @epkaufm's Whiteshift. ,
    • Whom did Picasso label a 'bristly pig'? Read Rosalind P Blakesley's review of The Collector by Natalya Semenova to… ,
    • Alexandra Gajda on Anna Beer's new biography, Patriot or Traitor: The Life and Death of Sir Walter Ralegh ,
    • Mark Lawson reviews @jonathancoe's Middle England - The Rotters' Club for our Brexit age. ,
    • 'Behind every book that is published lies ... a haunted landscape, populated by the ghosts of things written and ex… ,
    • 'We once more live in a great age of dragon invention' Here's Tom Shippey on Martin Arnold's The Dragon ,
    • RT : Man at the q&a part of the book panel: Don't say it Don't say it Don't say it Don't say it Don't say it Don't s… ,