Gillian Tindall

Silly Young Things

To Bed with Grand Music

By

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Some twenty-odd years ago, when Marghanita Laski was old, redoubtable and a regular on Radio 3’s Critics’ Forum, I occasionally coincided with her on the programme. I recall her expressing disdain for an intellectual Hungarian film on the grounds that there was nothing interesting in ‘the sexual activities of silly young people’. There was a tiny pause, during which I and the other contributors wondered where this left Romeo and Juliet and Anna Karenina. But I was especially intrigued because I happened to know that Laski herself had once written a corrosively authentic and daring novel about the goings on of a silly young wife in wartime London.

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