‘Guardian’ Country Diarist Jim Perrin, (alias ‘Llywarch’—alias ‘Tim Bartley’) reviews his own work

Virtually since the inception of our site we have explained why we are convinced that Jim Perrin has used ‘Llywarch’ (among a number of other names) as an alias, and we believe the mounting circumstantial evidence is by now all but conclusive. Finally he too seems to have realized that we — and many others who now see through him — are laughing at him, and his derisory foolishness in believing that his fraudulent behaviour has not been detected.

However, nothing daunted in his sense of invincibility, nor in his on-going efforts to puff his own work, yet apparently accepting at last that his continued use of the name ‘Llywarch’ was leaving him wide open to ridicule (not to mention making evident his determined deceit) he has ‘pulled’ the review of his own work Shipton and Tilman which he had posted on Amazon, 25/03/2013.

We think this can only be his response to recent posts by ‘jacssisters’, see ‘Llywarch’s’ poisoned pen and the comment by Mr. Bob Comlay (see the same post) which, between them, clearly demonstrate Jim Perrin’s ridiculous and pompous posturing. He has replaced it (as of the same date, 25/03/2013!) with another; it is even more self-plauditory than his first and was posted under a new pseudonym — ‘Tim Bartley.’ Perhaps, in this latest incarnation, he imagined that no-one would notice his practised sleight of hand and that ‘Tim Bartley’ — who had taken on the mantle of all ‘Llywarch’s’ previous reviews — would be able to continue, undetected. (Two of these are of his own books: River Map, 30/10/2009, and Travels With the Flea, 16/1120/09.)

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If Jim Perrin should decide, in view of all we have been writing on the subject, that he might after all be wiser not to use his new alias, and to remove the ‘evidence’ of his re-worked version, it could be said that ‘He is damned if he does, and damned if he doesn’t.’ Whatever he chooses to do it will no doubt be a dilemma; for one who takes himself so seriously there would surely be a dent in that ego were he to lose all the 5* reviews which he has awarded himself over the years…

We do, of course, if he removes his latest flight of fancy, ‘have a print-out’; as we do of all those reviews, be they written under his former alias ‘Llywarch’ — now transmuted to ‘Tim Bartley’, or earlier ones written under the name: ‘Jokerman, ”lemon-and-lime”.’ These may still be found on the Amazon review thread and are worth reading, not as genuine unbiased reviews by an innocent third party which they pretend to be, but in order to compare them to all the other suspect Perrin texts. One, of River Map, 04/01/2002, and one of Travels With The Flea, 06/06/2002.

Jim Perrin’s two most recent reviews, (as we believe them to be), of his own book Shipton and Tilman, are shown below so that our readers may make their own comparison and decide whether, as we have done, he is, essentially, a fraud. And we also include our own comment, just posted on the same thread, 24/09/2014, in which we pointed out this author’s uncanny ability to see into the future.

‘Llywarch’s’ first Shipton and Tilman review, headed Heroic anti-heroes, posted 30/03/2013:

“Had you called them heroes, they would have turned an amused look on you and walked the other way. Yet these two men have been taken as the models and exemplars of all that is best in mountain exploration for the last fifty years. This weighty and definitive book examines their joint activity through the 1930s. The first few chapters set the scene – Shipton the colonial boy who became a young prodigy of an alpinist; Tilman the war hero who was on the Western Front before his eighteenth birthday – and they re-assess previous accounts, adding in much new material that is very revealing about what the men became. Some may find the first third of the book slow going, but the author knows what he’s doing, is carefully laying the foundations for the main narrative once it starts to flow and reveal what the men were and what they achieved both together and separately, smashing all the 1930s altitude records in the Himalayas and establishing a style of adventurous and ethical journeying that is now admired worldwide.

What the book is “about” is the friendship between Shipton and Tilman, if you could ever call it such. There’s one poignant moment when Shipton, out in wildest Garhwal, laments not having a companion with whom he can celebrate the fact of having become an uncle. It’s subtly slipped in to the narrative and it tells you exactly on what level their relationship worked. But that relationship still enabled them to undertake together some of the most extraordinary journeys in the annals of mountaineering history. It’s quite a literary work, as you’d expect of this author, and it carries his usual complement of footnotes on most pages. I love these, think them very informative, and often wryly humorous. Others may find them distracting. One thing that I have to say is that his understanding of the psychology of climbing is exceptionally acute. He also tells a good story, and you have to be on the look out continually for his tongue-in-cheek humour. It comes in little flashes (this on the Bullock Workmans, for example: “Fanny in particular has become iconic in women’s studies over recent years”), or in longer and more elaborate gags – the yeti story in the epilogue for example is hilarious.

What’s for sure is that within the notoriously po-faced literature of mountaineering, the sly comedy that runs through this book is a rare and precious commodity! As is its implicit critique of those heroes and false gods the general public demands. A wonderful, absorbing book from someone who knows what he’s talking about, and worth buying just for the previously unpublished material it includes by Shipton alone. I don’t think it’s an accident this book being published in the diamond jubilee year of the “conquest” of Everest. It brings the reader right back to where the real values of mountaineering are to be found.”

‘Tim Bartley’s’ replacement review (same apparent date, 30/03/2013) actually posted September 2014:

“Sad that some of the reviews and comments here should be based in jealousy and malice. Are we expected to believe that people went around with hygrometers in their pockets to measure the strength of Tilman’s beer? I saw a previous comment, since deleted, that claims to have seen correspondence validating what’s written in the book. So that’s documentary evidence, unlike the gossipy comment on display here. It should be an easy matter to refute the unpleasant insinuations, then? Perrin says in this book that he’s going to deposit all his material for it in the National Welsh Library. That sounds like an open and honest response to me. About the book, anyone who reads closely will know from the outset it’s not a biography. It’s about a friendship between two of the great men of mountain writing, Eric Shipton and Bill Tilman, though you wouldn’t guess from some of these reviews. It’s crammed with material I’d never seen or heard about before – Shipton’s “Bugger You” telegram to Tilman after Tilman had climbed Nanda Devi for example. Hilarious, and very well handled here. Then there’s the bizarre joke about the yeti footprints. It’s fascinating material, I was riveted by it, and no, I didn’t think Perrin’s ego gets in the way, and I did like the footnotes, which are often very funny in a droll, ironic way. They put what’s happening into contemporary contexts. It won the Himalayan Club’s Kekoo Naoroji Prize – the blue-chip award for mountain literature. It looks to have had had fabulous, intelligent reviews by informed readers in the Alpine Journal, the Literary Journal, The Independent, Geographical Magazine, even Country Life. Read the book and judge for yourselves, without malice in your hearts. It doesn’t sound like Shipton or Tilman had much of that. I think they’d have laughed at and liked this book”.

Jac’s Sisters’ comment on the above review:

“In Tim Bartley’s review, irrespective of its quality as a measured assessment of Jim Perrin’s work, he points out the failings of his fellow reviewers.

Quoting his own introductory sentence: ‘Sad that some of the reviews and comments here should be based in jealousy and malice.’

As his own (first) review was, in fact, the first to appear on this thread (written as ‘Llywarch’) and therefore the comments of which he later complained were not as yet posted, it would seem that Mr. Bartley was remarkably prescient…”

He did not delete the first completely (including the date), rather, he amended his text and replaced it. Thus as his newest review was still the first of them all, to post one which accuses other reviewers of ‘jealousy and spite’ rather gave the away the sleight of hand he had used. And the print-outs shown above are the indisputable proof of his action. (Both were posted under ‘Llywarch’: it was only later that Jim Perrin changed ‘Llywarch’ to ‘Tim Bartley’.)

Jac’s sisters.