Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Every year at this time Debrett's sends me a letter, the latest is signed by the whimsically named Conrad Free. The letter is intended, first, to sell me a copy of the book People of Today - at a special discounted price of £195 for the leather-bound edition - and, secondly, to persuade me to edit, update and amend my own entry in this book. Annually, I fulfil the second demand and decline the first. My presence in these pages means apparently that I am a mover and/or a shaker in British Society. Somehow, this feels like an affront. For one thing, why am I not also in Debrett's People of the Year, the Peerage and Baronetage or even the much under-rated Etiquette for Girls? Why, in fact, am I not in A.C. Black's celebrated Who's Who? Because I am not, it seems, a Who, I am a mere People, a member of the floating world of today, an evanescent glimmer on the dim tide of now, a soon to be squeezed blackhead on the nose of history. So be it, I am content; I shall edit, update or amend and send my form to Richmond, bow my head, put my shoulder to the wheel and and return to my alloted task of moving interrupted only by periodic bouts of shaking. Are we really, in the last analysis, free, Conrad?
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 5:07 am