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If you discovered that the writer of a book you live an frequently re read....

(59 Posts)
BertrandRussell Mon 11-Feb-19 14:26:24

....had been posthumously but credibly accused of serious sexual assault agaist children, would you bin the book?
I didn’t give my children two of my favourite childhood authors because of subsequent revelations. But wondering what people would do about this. To make it worse, it’s a book I have given and recommended to many “baby” feminists because it presents many of the issues in an easy to digest fictional form.

BertrandRussell Mon 11-Feb-19 14:27:06

Title should obviously say “love and re read.....”

Paccs Mon 11-Feb-19 14:32:36

I probably would. I might re-read to see if I'd missed any unpalatable opinions in there.

TwoGinScentedTears Mon 11-Feb-19 14:34:34

What's a baby feminist?

SoSaidTheHorse Mon 11-Feb-19 14:37:35

No. I'd continue to read it if I loved it. I know who you're referring to and I can understand people feeling differently, but I can generally separate art from the artist and if I removed all of the books on my shelves that were written by people with offensive views or who had committed a crime or a great wrong then I suspect that my collection would be greatly diminished.

Beamur Mon 11-Feb-19 14:39:34

That's a tricky one.
Depends on how closely the text relates to the author perhaps?
I will still read and enjoy stories for example the 'just so' stories by Rudyard Kipling, despite him being somewhat reviled. I have talked about this with my 11 yr old DD too as it's a useful discussion about how attitudes shift.
DH on the other hand got a copy of Dr Doolittle to read to DD and was shocked by how racist it was - he hasn't picked up on that as a child himself. New editions have edited out the offensive parts.

SoSaidTheHorse Mon 11-Feb-19 14:42:26

Also I can't see that throwing out the book will change anything.

bingoitsadingo Mon 11-Feb-19 15:04:07

No, I wouldn't bin it.

If they were still alive I would probably stop recommending it and wouldn't buy a copy if I didn't own one.

But what is binning it after their death going to do? Especially if it's a good resource for feminism. Bad people can still have done good things. Binning the book won't do anything to help the children the author may have abused, but keeping it/reading it might do a bit of good in the world.

MephistophelesApprentice Mon 11-Feb-19 15:08:18

Marion Zimmer Bradley?

BertrandRussell Mon 11-Feb-19 15:49:53

“What's a baby feminist?”
What do you think? hmm

Yes- it’s Marion Zimmer Bradley-I hope this isn’t going to be zapped as a TAAT. The other thread was just going to be to tell people that I’d found some good audio versions of her books, but instead showed me the more recent accusations against her that I had missed.

BertrandRussell Mon 11-Feb-19 15:51:59

And to be clear- it’s not just a case of someone being reviled for being a person of their time like Kipling.It’s proper nasty stuff.

TwoGinScentedTears Mon 11-Feb-19 15:57:30

Ah. So freakin' Condescending, to the emerging feminists and to me.

BertrandRussell Mon 11-Feb-19 15:58:55

Really? I’m sorry- no condescension intended, I promise. It’s just an expression-hence the inverted commas.

Beamur Mon 11-Feb-19 16:02:29

Ah. Just read a bit about that writer. I wouldn't recommend them as a read to anyone given that baggage now attached to their 'legacy' tbh.

spiderlight Mon 11-Feb-19 16:07:14

Noooooooooooo! I loved her books! Had absolutely no idea sad

Cel982 Mon 11-Feb-19 16:09:09

It's hard to draw a line on this sort of thing, isn't it? So many great artists have really unpleasant aspects to their personal lives. I do avoid Polanski's films; what he did and the way he managed to avoid justice for it just feels so egregious. But I haven't stopped watching Woody Allen despite the accusations there, and it would be pretty hard to avoid everything Harvey Weinstein has ever had a hand in. I'm reading Roald Dahl to my 5yo and the moment, and the stories are so good, but Dahl was an appalling racist and anti-Semite. I don't know what the answer is.

DorindaLestrange Mon 11-Feb-19 16:13:33

I would continue to read the book, and also continue to recommend it to others (although possibly with a disclaimer about the author).

A book is one thing. Its author is another thing.

Obviously not everyone is going to agree with this, but that's my personal take on it.

noblegiraffe Mon 11-Feb-19 16:17:33

A children’s book with an author who committed sexual abuse against children? Bin. It’s not going to be read again is it? Especially not to children.

That’s a different league to Roald Dahl being an anti-Semite, I think.

RiverTam Mon 11-Feb-19 16:22:06

wow, I didn't know that about her. I loved The Mists of Avalon! Though I doubt I'd recommend it to anyone these days, I should think it's seriously dated.

If she's still alive (is she?) then no, I wouldn't because I'd be buggered if I'd encourage anyone to increase her coffers.

FindPrimeLorca Mon 11-Feb-19 16:40:29

She’s dead: the accusations against her personally emerged many years after her death although she admitted in her lifetime that she’d failed to report her husband for child sex offences of which she was aware. Given the personal nature of her writing I myself wouldn’t have her books in the house.

I do however still possess a couple of anthologies of fairy stories edited by William Mayne, who was convicted of a series of offences against young female fans and served a couple of years in prison before his death. They are part of my personal collection of fairy stories not my children’s libraries - and I think I’d feel differently if they were stories written by him rather than edited and/or retold by him.

MephistophelesApprentice Mon 11-Feb-19 16:54:01

It should be noted that the publishers say that all profits from further sales of her books go to anti-abuse charities.

Theweasleytwins Mon 11-Feb-19 16:56:55

Not exactly the same but i loved the song Rooftops by a band, be was convicted of animal/child weird stuff so now cannot listen to it

squeezysparklyballs Mon 11-Feb-19 17:00:34


Binning art or any other achievement due to the morals or personal life of the artist is crackers.

You'd end up binning the majority of stuff produced before the 1960's...

Loopytiles Mon 11-Feb-19 17:00:57

I like Michael Jackson’s hits but many years ago decided not to buy his music due to allegations about child abuse. Wouldn’t get rid of albums I already owned though.

InfiniteCurve Mon 11-Feb-19 17:13:03

I love William Mayne,and I've kept his books. His personal life isn't reflected in the books - that would be my point,if there had been something that flagged up on reading and was reinforced by the personal life.
And who would you read? Dickens behaved appallingly to his wife IMO...

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