Search

Hampstead and Highgate ‘literati’ defended against snobbery charge from Daphne du Maurier’s son

17:00 17 April 2014

Daphne du Maurier

Daphne du Maurier

Archant

A fellow of the Royal Society of Literature has rejected claims from the son of Daphne du Maurier that the “literati” of Hampstead and Highgate are guilty of snobbishness towards popular authors.

Daphne Du Maurier plaque at Cannon Cottage in Well Road, HampsteadDaphne Du Maurier plaque at Cannon Cottage in Well Road, Hampstead

Kits Browning, the only son of the Rebecca writer, has accused the literary circles of these parts of unfairly dismissing writers who achieve mass popularity, both today and in his mother’s time.

Speaking before a three-part BBC One adaptation of du Maurier’s Jamaica Inn begins on Monday, he told the Radio Times: “The Hampstead/Highgate literati of critics totally dismissed mum just as they do with best-selling authors today.”

However, former BBC radio producer Piers Plowright, fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and one of the organisers of the Hampstead Arts Festival – who was born a few streets away from du Maurier’s former Hampstead home in Well Road – has denied the charge.

He told Heathman: “I enormously admire Daphne du Maurier. What I think he’s getting at is this feeling that there’s a group scoffing at novelists who are popular and tell great stories, but I think it’s a rather sweeping criticism.

“Hampstead has become a catch-all phrase for a certain type of snootiness, but there isn’t any more literary snobbery in Hampstead than anywhere else.

“It’s something that runs through literary people everywhere – but we have got better over the years.”

He added: “I live in Hampstead and I like books, but I would not want to think of myself as part of any literati.”

Latest News Stories

17:00
Alain de Botton. Picture: Vincent Starr

He wrote the book The Architecture of Happiness, but now celebrity philosopher Alain de Botton is making Hampstead residents unhappy with plans to build a modern three-storey hotel in the centre of the village.

15:50
Pupils at Highgate School celebrate their A-level results last year. Picture: Polly Hancock

A handful of Camden, Barnet and Haringey schools are ranked among the best 100 schools in the country for 2014 A-level results.

07:00
Memorials at Highgate School to sixth former Josh Dorgu who died suddenly at School

Tributes have been pouring in for the “happy and kind” sixth-former who died after collapsing in front of shocked classmates at Highgate School.

15:10
Charles Salmon QC said it was impossible for mothers with children to park on visits to the Heath.

A top barrister living on the edge of Hampstead Heath has urged Camden Council to re-think parking restrictions.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

The latest North London property news and features straight into your inbox.

Other Emails:
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Finding the jet remains a priority for Malaysia.

The revelation came on the opening day of the inquest into the siege at the Lindt Chocolat Cafe.

The iconic skeleton is set to be replaced by a giant blue whale skeleton in 2017, and people on Twitter really aren’t happy about it.

Citizens of New England wished they had temperatures “barely getting above freezing”.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24
Our trusted business finder