22 OCTOBER 1954, Page 13


SIR,—In a world of little-buying money the

serious weeklies are among the best value for a handful of pence. This is a worth

jealously to be guarded. And one feels that Mr. Mankowitz's column of October 15, ostensibly about the play Rebecca, rang light in this regard.

Agreed that there are great opportunities in sound and visual broadcasting which some- times seem wilfully'passed by: Mr. Manko- witz may feel this more deeply than his readers. Agreed also that Rebecca may not be among the lasting glories of our literature. Does this then justify the critic spending the column-inches of his breath in an indictment of women's magazines ? As Mr. Mankowitz is unlikely to be an habitual reader of the Spectator, one would remind him that his column appears under the heading ' Television and Radio,' His part is that of Ariel, not Caliban. If he wishes to be fashionable, and campaign, let him at least study Shaw, and choose wit and humour for his weapons. If not, better he should stay at home with his radio and television sets, and out of the three hundred-odd hours of transmission weekly select for us something which he feels able to discuss.

And in any event, if as he says the women's magazines ' flatter them into feeling myste- rious,' what of that ? Woman feeling myste- rious is far less dangerous than woman feeling critical. Which should be as well for Mr. Mankowitz. Besides, some of my best friends are women.—Yours faithfully, 53 Maida Vale, W.9 JOHN BURGE