We learnt only recently that Jim Perrin had written – as his first chapter in “The Climbing Essays” – an account of his relationship with our sister, Jac.
We know, beyond doubt, that this is a heavily fictional account, and in many places, as we have proved, completely untrue. Had we known of this book before it was published we would have taken steps much earlier to expose the lies which we have shown him to have written about our sister.
He later transposed virtually the entire chapter into “West:” and he has, in the gap of time between the two versions of his ‘story’ altered it considerably.
We have said in the course of this blog that we believe, absolutely, Jim Perrin to be a liar and a fantasist, and when the second account is compared with the first we are able to show exactly how he has “embellished” it.
First may we remind readers of our blog that Jac was very young when Jim Perrin first met her – as he relates in both accounts she was seventeen years old.
The important point here is that our sister was very deeply in love with her first partner at this time. Theirs was an intensely spiritual and romantic, and closely united physical relationship. She was in her teens and this is a time of great altruism when one is first in love. They were entirely committed to each other and were seldom apart.
There was no way at all that our sister would have been “involved” with Jim Perrin at that time other than as an acquaintance, he was simply one of those who climbed in Wales, as did her partner, her “first love”.
This partner, however, was one of whom Jim Perrin was particularly jealous, then and to this day, and it is apparent, we believe, in “West:” that the author is ever ready to malign whose whom he sees as competitors.
He wrote in “West:” p.74, of our sister’s adored partner: “She was with her boyfriend OF THE TIME, a medical student in Liverpool whom I VAGUELY knew through climbing and I thought RATHER INEPT and something of a SHOW OFF and a BORE.”
The capitals are ours but the distasteful way in which Jim Perrin wrote of this man – “unnamed but clearly identifiable” – (Robinson v Gaskell) – to all who know him, clearly reveals the author’s ‘style’.
But our sister’s partner who is a lovely man and still a family friend, was not so inept! He climbed K2 and Everest – was a doctor in the teams – did Jim Perrin climb so high? Or – despite his reputation (he was known as ‘JIM DOG’ by that climbing fraternity in Wales) did he use his skills so positively for others. We refer here to the site for the Welfare of the Sherpas which Jac’s partner started (www.ippg.net).
The man whom Jim Perrin so denigrated is in every way an estimable human being and not in the least‘inept’. He is now a practising G.P, a happy family man, with strong Buddhist conviction and, in his spare time, an expert mariner who with his wife, navigates the oceans.
Jim Perrin’s hatred of this man is palpable and his disparaging remarks are surely meant to damage his reputation, but the love which was shared between Jac and “her first love” throughout their lives together, when they were apart, and in her dying days was such that Jim Perrin could only begin to imagine, so egotistical and controlling was his kind of love, (and which we have detailed on our blog).
This section of “West:” is much at variance with the corresponding remark in the previous book “The Climbing Essays”, p.14, where he wrote only: “She’s the girl of a friend of mine” and he continued “Our hair mingles as we lean over a wall ……”, and then lo and behold, in “West:” the story is plumped up: “She told of how we had talked for a long period over a dry-stone wall, slowly leaning in together …… until our hair mingled, and when we turned to each other our faces were only inches apart and inevitably we kissed.” And then he wrote: (the CAD) “I did not have the least recollection of the dry-stone wall, our hair mingling, our faces being so close, or even of the first kiss”! “What I did …… was to add in my memory of the context of our first conversation which MAY have been on this occasion or it MAY have been in a LATER one”!
Oh, slippery Jim Perrin. He is in our opinion a most prolific LIAR: he gets away with this sort of subterfuge time after time because no-one is willing to stand up to him – to challenge him with the truth.
Our sister is no longer here, she died of her cancer six years ago, and Jim Perrin, we believe, says and writes of her whatever his fertile ‘imagination’ can conjure. He ‘dines out’ on her memory. She has become ‘source material’ and it is iniquitous that he, in our opinion a hollow man, should write of her as he has done.
And of course, and most telling, if there had been a ‘kiss’ he would have written of it first in “The Climbing Essays” would he not?
So we have shown how he ‘works’. A) He starts with an idea – wishful thinking in this case no doubt, and unchallenged, he gains in nerve and ‘develops’ it, and/or B) by, in our opinion, the use of insinuating remarks and, we have proved, downright lies, he insults people whom he does not care for, either personally or professionally: his tendency to lash out at any perceived rival in his ascent of the greasy pole is, we believe, very frequently apparent, not just in his books, but in reviews which he has written (we think some of his own work(?) and using aliases). Another example of his modus operandi which could be considered even worse – insofar as our sister can no longer be hurt by him – is a public attack which was noted in Wales last year. This came to the attention of Jac’s “Welsh” sister.
Jim Perrin was to give a lecture on October 16th, 2010. No longer resident in Wales – he is, we believe, fugitive in the French Pyrenees. (Possibly because, we have learned, the CSA are rather keen to find him as there are children for whom he is not, apparently, adequately providing). So he returned to Wales to deliver his lecture on the naturalist, the late “Bill” Condry: a long-time contributor to the Guardian with his “Nature Diary”, and into whose shoes Jim Perrin in due course propitiously stepped.
He used the lecture though, to criticise a fellow writer, Jason Cowley, the editor at that time of ‘Granta’, and as with our sister’s partner of whom he wrote so disdainfully in “West:” so in the case of his lecture on Bill Condry, he carefully chose his words, and his moment – quite near the end.
Members of the audience were made uncomfortable by it: the diatribe was venomous, amateurish and somewhat hysterical. It was certainly inappropriate. Clearly he must have had an agenda, or had he simply, finally, imploded?
He began by quoting from Jason Cowley’s editor’s letter in ‘Granta’ 201: “When I used to think of nature writing, or indeed the nature writer ……”. The clue is in the words “used to think”, past tense: Jim Perrin selectively edited the text – he used only the first two sentences, and these, as it were, he scissored out, and presented to the audience with much showmanship.
The sentences dealt with stereotyping, and what Jim Perrin did not say (which he certainly knew) was that the writer was using them only as a literary device, by which he would later reinforce his main theme. The words “used to think” being an indication of the forthcoming change of thought, and indeed the article which followed was excellent. But Jim Perrin went on to vilify the writer, Jason Cowley, in what seems to us to have been an attempt to harm his professional reputation. It might be thought that it was somewhat Machiavellian and unless the audience had read the text in full they could have been left with the idea, as we believe Jim Perrin intended that they should, that this “rival’s” work was of less value than his own. This we feel is a window into his mind.
Yes, professional jealousy could be the motive in this case but personal or professional it seems to us that Jim Perrin has developed over the years not only his particular writing style but an increasing tendency to, as we said earlier, lash out at those by whom he feels in any way threatened. He has used many means, some which we have explored in our blog and which vary from blatant accusations to subtle and even secretive measures. We have even exposed him as an ‘anonymous’ letter writer and in view of that proclivity we have asked ourselves if others could have been written by him. It is a sobering thought.
And on a personal note we have shown how he has misrepresented his time with our sister by consistently shifting his ‘memories’ about, not just the one example described earlier but many many more. We believe him to be dishonest.