Though I have done the state some service (and they know't), a deep and vociferous scepticism greeted your announcement (THES, July 21) of my having been awarded an honorary degree. The DLitt conferred by the University of Hertfordshire is in fact a higher doctorate by published work, examined by lengthy and rigorous procedures, and entailing the scrutiny of no fewer than six eminent external assessors.
Earned, therefore, not bought; wrung "from the sweat of a man's brow", not culled from the easy hand of patronage. Let those who have truly deserved honour, be truly honoured. I boast no entitlement to the nobility of commendation, claiming only the reward of effort and the dignity of labour.
GRAHAM HOLDERNESS (DLITT) University of Hertfordshire