An earlier post, The name-dropping game, was contributed by one of our well-wishers and we would like to expand upon it here:
The eminent scholar and most significant Welsh poet Professor Gwyn Thomas lectured at Bangor university when Jim Perrin, studying for a degree in English (achieving a 2:1, ref. ‘Phantom PhD?), became acquainted with him. In his book West the author wrote of having met Professor Thomas by chance at a garage and he recounted: ‘…that we talked…and no doubt brashly on my part for it was a new-found enthusiasm, and what right had I other than that of dialogue in his company? of the ninth-century poetry of the Heledd saga. I remember with intense embarrassment how I delivered an extempore lecture some minutes in length and no doubt achingly crass and jejune [oh, how very humble, and so self-effacing!] on a particular line from the Stafell Gynddylan [Cynddylan’s Hall], one of the Heledd englynion.’ — and on, and on, and on… Continue reading
Those who follow the erratic career of Jim Perrin may be aware of his apparently leisurely project to write a biography of the Victorian traveller and writer George Borrow, whose most well-known book is Wild Wales. Indeed Perrin has laid claim to the mantle of Borrow, at least as regards his shamelessly exculpatory association, by implication, of his own book West with Borrow’s (as Perrin calls it) ‘fictivized autobiography’, as if this justifies West‘s catalogue of offences to the dead and the living.
But we believe he can lay legitimate claim to many Borrovian characteristics. In his Introduction to the 1906 J M Dent edition of Wild Wales, Theodore Watts-Dunton wrote of its author:
A characteristic matter connected with Borrow’s translation [of a work of literature in Welsh] is that in the Quarterly Review for January 1861 he himself reviewed it anonymously, and not without appreciation of its merits—a method which may be recommended to those authors who are not in sympathy with their reviewers. The article showed a great deal of what may be called Borrovian knowledge of the Welsh language and Welsh literature, and perhaps it is not ungenerous to say a good deal of Borrovian ignorance too. Continue reading
Never one to forgo an opportunity to repeat his ‘stories’ Jim Perrin would have been pleased to agree the text of the foreword to his recent book Snowdon, with its inclusion of the reference to West. (We note his article in ‘Planet’ in which he mentions again his expertise with a labouring sheep: ‘… as I’d done often in my shepherding days.’ *)
It is apparent that Jim Perrin has no shred of shame: he knows — as by now do thousands of others — that we, Jac’s sisters, have proved him to be an outright liar (and not just a purveyor of ‘the little white lie’) and that much of what he wrote so ‘movingly’ about Jac we have shown, irrefutably, to be untrue.
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The foreword was written by one who appears to believe in him implicitly, saying of him: ‘…his confessional and heart-rending ”West: A Journey Through the Landscapes of Loss” — [is] as moving and profound an exploration of grief and the will to live as one is likely to find.’
Yes, over the years, Jim Perrin has practised his prose assiduously and is a talented word-smith. He has learned, in particular, how to tug at the heart-strings of his readers — and to convince them of his probity — although we have, throughout our posts, accurately described his behaviour and how he did behave to our own sister: and we do not forget the many other young and vulnerable women whose lives, as they have told us, have been blighted by his abuse. (We can also list some men among this number.) Continue reading