Waugh-ha ha

October 12, 2007

Laurie Taylor in his review of Evocative Objects (Books, September 28) says that one of the jokes at Forest Hill Comprehensive School was the story of the English teacher who, unable to control his class, offered £1 for the longest essay, irrespective of merit. Evelyn Waugh deserves the real credit for this ploy. Faced with an unruly class, Paul Pennyfeather in Decline and Fall sets an essay on "self-indulgence" and offers half a crown for the longest essay "irrespective of all merit" and duly gets some quiet.

Anthony Kearney

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