Re: BBC4 tonight

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Posted by Peter Hyland on November 22, 2015 at 06:30:25 user Peter_H.

In Reply to: Re: BBC4 tonight posted by Mike Dennis on November 22, 2015 at 00:57:26:

Yes I do, Mike. Everyone, including AR himself, is very cagey about this. AR had a serious row with Ernest Altounyan when he visited him in Aleppo in 1932. I don't think anyone knows for sure what this was about. There is a clue that AR thought that the Altounyan family were over-exploiting their connection with Swallows & Amazons: - "His [Ernest's] children had identified themselves (regardless of sex) with my characters . . ." (AR's Autobiography, p. 339).

Hugn Brogan, in his biography of AR, says that AR "had convinced himself that Altounyan was making undue claims about his part in engendering Swallows & Amazons". Brogan then comes down on the side of Ernest Altounyan, but I am inclined to believe AR. Most subsequent writers on AR have taken Brogan's line, but I am not convinced. I heard Taqui Altounyan speak on several occasions and she became ferocious if the Brogan line was queried. AR must have had good reason for removing the dedication.

(Leaving this controversy aside, it is sad to read now the accounts of AR's stay in Aleppo, when one realises what has happened to Syria in recent years.)

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