Mary Beard on Robert Hughes on Rome
Mary Beard, writing on The Guardian website today, has read more of Robert Hughes's Rome than I have so far - and found her own list of 'errors and misunderstandings' that will 'mislead the innocent and infuriate the specialist'. See my previous post.
The innocent, I think, are the ones that deserve the greater consideration here. Readers of newspaper reviews stand in some danger of being deceived. See, eg, this effusion, also from The Guardian.
Hughes is a famous writer of an expensive book from a respectable publisher.
As Professor Beard generously points out in her Guardian review, the only thing to do, if one gets this Rome as a gift, as many will, is to skip the first 200 pages.
If it were about the twentieth century 'it would have been pulped'.
There is still time.