Might learn a thing or two

June 7, 2012

Regarding "Ignorance is strength" (Opinion, 24 May): Felipe Fernández-Armesto might enjoy his pub quizzes a little more if he reread Jean-Baptiste le Rond d'Alembert's Encyclopédie article on erudition.

Lord Dacre, Fernández-Armesto's hero, wrote a remarkably inaccurate book, The Rise of Christian Europe, and some might fault his premature verdict on the "Hitler Diaries" for comparable lack of precise knowledge.

But perchance "hatred of knowledge" is a part of English eccentric charm. Lucidity unclouded by fact used to be a sure way to an Oxford first.

David Ganz, Cambridge

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