Presumably Jim Perrin was paid by The Sunday Telegraph for his recent full-page article — in Glorious Technicolor — on the topical issue of Sherpas versus mountaineers, 05/05/2113, and we wonder if they were aware that by publishing it verbatim they had allowed him the opportunity to engineer and incorporate into the article what surely might be a libellous remark — certainly a sly dig — yet another in what we know to be a long list of these towards people against whom Jim Perrin appears to harbour a grudge or bear resentment.
He does not accuse the Sherpas, nor indeed the other main subjects in the article, of being ‘non-performers’ but with his considerable ‘skill’ in these matters — and we have experienced his distasteful ways at first hand, note his virtually libellous comments about us in West and in The Guardian, (writing as ‘Melangell’, a long-used alias) — he has managed to disparage in his carefully crafted use of that phrase the authors of ‘Mountains of the Mind’, ‘The Mystery of Mallory and Irvine’ and ‘Into the Silence’: it is quite obvious what Jim Perrin has done, and shows him to be without qualm or conscience.
‘Non-performers’ is not only a jaundiced and certainly inaccurate statement but is, we believe, as blatant a piece of ‘libellous’ writing slipped, subtly, into a seemingly innocuous text as many other similar examples regularly written by Jim Perrin; a text, moreover, which reads as somewhat ‘holier than thou’ when the author’s admitted illegal-substance-fuelled climbing exploits over the years are considered: and the documented treatment of his climbing partners…
Jim Perrin might say that he did not intend to libel, nor has libelled anyone in this instance, that it was merely his ‘honestly held opinion’ that those he specifically defamed (by naming their books), are ‘non-performer’s. The reality, it is clear — oh, slippery Jim Perrin — is that yet again he has devised the means to attack others in his writing: which is what he did in an article published by Climber and Hillwalker, in March 1991.
He (and they) would have lost the forthcoming libel case, which was in consequence in the hands of lawyers, and on the production of letters written by him with the most damning content, ‘his friends in high places’ who had until that point believed in him and trusted him were obliged, through their insurers, to pay a small fortune in damages to that particular victim of Jim Perrin’s ‘little sharpened knife’, ref. our post Jim Perrin Writes Libellously?
Jim CURRAN, popular and well-respected in the climbing community (he is also, many will know, a most accomplished artist) has written of this episode in his fascinating autobiography, Here, There and Everywhere. And written of it, too, in a style quite lacking in rancour or bitterness. It is to his credit.
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We are surprised that Jim Perrin has acquired so much support from ‘on high’. It cannot be for the quality of his writing alone — one who contacted us described him as being ‘a purple prose merchant of a high order’ — (and, it has been suggested to us, that ‘perhaps he knows where the bodies are buried.’)
We have told The Guardian of our concern — of our suspicion — about Jim Perrin. Still they continue to allow him — as does The Sunday Telegraph with his latest article — to snipe from the safety and cover of their illustrious title; and we are uncertain as to why The Guardian still supports, apparently, ‘Melangell’ — one of the aliases we believe Jim Perrin regularly uses. ‘Llywarch’ (later note: now changed to ‘Tim Bartley’) is another, and his use of these names, with the impunity they impart, in his quest to ‘do down’ his perceived rivals is, in our opinion, quite scandalous.
As ‘Melangell’ (JP?), in The Guardian, he was patronising in a comment apropos an excellent article by John Vidal of whom he scathingly wrote: ‘The ignorance of these sub-editors.’
Might it be that Jim Perrin’s latest article for The Sunday Telegraph was also inadequately edited? And that the gratuitously offensive remark about the author of ‘Mountains of the Mind’, and the others was not spotted? — or does Jim Perrin, as we have been saying for some time, indeed have ‘friends in high places’ who have willingly endorsed such gamesmanship. We would hope not; if so, shame on them: to allow what we would call ‘a cuckoo in the nest’ to heave out other worthy authors, and to thrive by attempting to injure the reputation of his peers, is not edifying. But, as Jim Perrin himself wrote in the article: ‘You can behave well towards people, or you can behave badly.’
We looked up ‘Into the Silence’, by Wade Davies, on Amazon. The author is truly erudite: much travelled and experienced, his work is profound and highly acclaimed. His CV is impressive and unlike what we believe to be Jim Perrin’s phantom PhD, his PhD (in ethnobotany) is more than spectral.
He was, with this book, the 2012 winner of the Samuel Johnson prize and it has so far received, on Amazon (31/05/2013) 100 reviews. Of these, 77 were 5 star, 14 were 4 star, 5 were 3 star and 4 were 2 star. We invite you to guess the author of one of the 2 star reviews; do read it for further understanding as to why we are so certain — and yes, it was posted by ‘Llywarch’ (JP?) on the 29th of March this year…
Robert Macfarlane’s remarkable book, ‘The Old Ways’, was also short listed for this award, and on Amazon at the latest count, has received 92 reviews. 34 of them are 5 star and 34 of them are 4 star. A 2 star review was posted by someone called Arthur Dooley (later note: now changed to Jago Wells) — whom we believe (for that review only!) to be none other than Jim Perrin…
The more we read the work of those authors whom Jim Perrin seems routinely to denigrate we realise that so much of his own work is, in reality (and in our use of the vernacular) not a patch on theirs.
And the sooner anonymous reviewers and commentators are obliged to reveal themselves the better, ref. our post Stop Press — Jac’s Sisters Write in Response to the R.J.Ellory Scandal with Particular Reference to Jim Perrin. They would then be more wary of exposing their manipulation, self-aggrandisement, bitterness and jealousy: and when they are supported, using their own name, by leading newspapers and climbing publications, perhaps the sub-editors would, at the least, take care that the authors do not use the opportunity freely to insult others — as did Jim Perrin in his article in The Sunday Telegraph.