Tuesday, December 19, 2017


The Torygraph reports:

"France declares Marquis de Sade's ... 120 Days of Sodom 'national treasure' hours before auction"

Another example of the cultural ties we will lose when we leave the European Union. Scholars should note that this fine description of life in an English public school was written 26 years before the similarly themed "Sense and Sensibility".

I have not read Monsieur de Sade’s works, but believe that he foretold the coming of the current First Lord of the Treasury by naming one of the characters “Thérèse”.

Some would argue that the gratuitous violence in “Three Men in a Boat” makes it more enjoyable than that soppy farce “The Three Musketeers” which it plagiarises, but the joyous frolics in the latter capture the spirit of those merry japesters, the French aristocracy. (You haven’t read that one either, have you? Ed.)

It is alarming that so much of the great British literature which we are encouraged to venerate while we are at school is simply a poorer reworking of sublime French works of art. Who can deny that the coming of age novels in the Harry Potter series are inspired by “À la Recherche du Temps Perdu”? Bridget Jones is clearly based on Madame Bovary, and only the most uneducated could fail to see that “Wuthering Heights” is an almost literal translation of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame".

Let me be among the first to congratulate the French government on moving to protect its national works of art and manuscripts. I shall later be writing to the cabinet to ask that the works of Jeffrey Archer be kept in the UK and only used as a deterrent in the event of a nuclear holocaust. Perhaps some of my transatlantic friends could join me in ensuring that the works of Dan Brown are also kept in maximum security.