Thursday, January 24, 2013

A S Byatt’s 'bruising’ feud with Margaret Drabble is a 'tragedy’, says Michael Holroyd

Michael Holroyd, the biographer, says his wife Margaret Drabble's ongoing feud with her sister A S Byatt is a 'tragedy'.

Margaret Drabble is the author of 'A Summer Bird Cage' 

Margaret Drabble and A S Byatt are the contemporary literary world’s most prominent sisters. Their ongoing feud is, however, the cause of much sadness for Drabble’s husband, the distinguished biographer Sir Michael Holroyd.
“They had a very difficult upbringing with their mother,” he tells Mandrake. “They cannot help that. It is a fact. They’ve had two extraordinary careers and are not dependent on any shadow that their mother laid on both of them to achieve. She had her reasons; she was not at all well. It’s a sort of tragedy.”

Dame Margaret, 73, has been estranged from her elder sister, Dame Antonia Duffy, who writes as A S Byatt, since they were children. “There was too much competition,” Byatt has said of the cause; their upbringing made it that way.
Drabble’s novels include A Summer Bird Cage and The Witch of Exmoor, while Byatt, 76, won the Booker Prize with her 1990 book Possession.
In 2011, Drabble said of the dispute: “It’s irresoluble now. It’s sad, but beyond repair, and I don’t think about it much any more.”
“However, there are vulnerabilities, there are bruises, and it would be kindly not to press on, because they are imprinted.”
Speaking at the launch of The Love-charm of Bombs, by Lara Feigel, at Bloomsbury Publishing, Holroyd adds: “I’m a single child – there are some advantages. I feel both of them are amazing, talented and achieved. There is a brother [Richard Drabble QC] and another sister, who is a very good art historian [Helen Langdon].” 

1 comment:

Dr Tony Shaw said...

These beknighted and bedam(ned) bores just want to perpetuate the squabbles to sell more books in their old age, deluded that people are interested in their idiocies.