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May 2008, no. 301


May 2008, no. 301

Lifting the flap

Dear Editor,

I had always believed that the only thing worse than a bad review was not to be reviewed at all, to be ignored. Now I find that there is something even more galling: to be reviewed by someone who is more concerned to air his and other people’s opinions on the subject than to address the book or books concerned. Nicholas Brown has some interesting things to say about Daisy Bates (April 2008), and he is keen to tell us what Russell McGregor and Meaghan Morris have to say as well. However, his review (or rather, review article) provides the potential reader with very little guidance as to the aims and scope of the two new biographies of Bates – Susanna de Vries’s Desert Queen: The Many Lives and Loves of Daisy Bates, and my own, Daisy Bates: Grand Dame of the Desert – nor does he offer any useful assessment of the contribution they make to a better understanding of this extraordinary woman. Dr Brown might well have taken his own good advice and lifted the flap of his own tent.

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