For years the Spectator magazine’s pre-Internet content was not available electronically, but we recently noticed that it now is. And so we are able to provide this link to the very first published item of Dalrymple’s career, A Bit of a Myth. (Though we should really say it’s the first published item of Anthony Daniels’s career, as he had not yet begun using the Dalrymple pseudonym). It adheres to the primary theme of his early writing: opposition to colonialism.
Former Spectator editor Charles Moore once said that Daniels was the only author he has ever chosen to publish on the basis of unsolicited articles, and this piece would seem to have been the unsolicited one that launched his writing career.
Be advised that the piece is poorly formatted and punctuated, seemingly the result of an automated mass upload process.
It has all the classic hallmarks of his style from the beginning then.
And it’s wonderful to know that there must be a trove of more to come.
August 1983 was memorable to me also as the first month of my work as an NHS doctor.
And I remember my delight, laughter and something akin to relief
when I first discovered his writing,many years later.
No one else has described the awfulness of NHS management as well.
I only retired when their interference became truly inescapable .
Still, I honestly think I must hold the record
for the largest number of unopened NHS emails in the Kingdom;
Possibly my greatest personal achievement.
Haha. Well said, Ben. I would strongly recommend his new book of short stories, The Proper Procedure, which can be read in 2-3 hours and includes several very powerful, somewhat Kafkaesque portraits of NHS bureaucracy and its effect on patients’ lives.
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Thanks for the pingback and the kind comments about our blog. I haven’t said this enough, but your own blog and work on Twitter are wonderful resources for those of us who admire Dalrymple’s work. We need to do more here to give you credit for your contributions (we struggle to give our own blog the attention it should probably receive). Please let us know if we can ever do more to help you in any way, and best wishes.