Lot of talk this morning about what we should call elderly people. Apparently the pinko liberals are going around tut-tutting about the old folk in our midst being called 'old codgers', 'coffin-dodgers' etc. All Round Good Egg Sir Clement Freud (84) was interviewed on the Today programme and basically said he didn't give a toss what anybody called him, so long as wasn't 'young man' by patronising shop assistants who think they're being funny. As I am often called 'The Old Git' by my children, I don't give a monkey's either. After all I'm now officially infirm and probably incontinent as well since a Senior Rail Card was bestowed upon me. How to illustrate these thoughts. Well, in the seventies Penguin produced a beautifully designed trilogy of photographic books edited by Gordon Winter. On the front cover of A Country Camera 1844-1914 is a photograph taken of eighty-two years old Robert Morvinson in 1857. I've always been staggered by this image, as we are looking at a photograph of someone who was born in 1775. As it says underneath the picture, (but obviously if you're over forty you won't be able to read it) Mr.Morvinson came into the world 'when the United States was still a British colony, and Bonnie Prince Charlie was still alive'. Imagine that. I wonder what they called him? As he was a shoemaker probably 'Olde Cobbler'.
Evergreen Review: Literary legacy
12 hours ago