Scholarly jabs

Ryan writes about the lost art of academic jibes. He’s a little pessimistic – take this recent gem of a footnote from Richard Drayton’s recent book Nature’s Government

‘”I owe a particdular debt to Mr. Desmond for rescuing me from writing the more parochial history of Kew which would have followed from the publication of my doctoral dissertation. He read and commented on it in 1994, but failed to cite it since, he later advised me, he had ‘put it aside’ before writing. I take encouragement from the fact that Desmond was able so often to agree with the patterns and periods I had described for Kew’s history”‘