Alison Flood writing in guardian.co.uk,
Wednesday October 22 2008
"Thank you for offering me this honour: I am very pleased. But for some time now I have been wondering, 'But where is this British Empire?', Lessing wrote to Allan. "Surely, there isn't one. And now I see that I am not the only one saying the same. There is something ruritannical about honours given in the name of a non-existent Empire."
Lessing, now 89, said that when she was young, she did her best "to undo that bit of the British Empire I found myself in: that is, old Southern Rhodesia", saying that "surely there is something unlikeable about a person, when old, accepting honours from a institution she attacked when young?".
Read the full interesting piece here.