Reading through The Observer’s miscellaneous list of Britain’s 300 “leading public intellectuals” on Sunday (an improvement, I suppose, on the wretched, if instructive, Rich List), I was pleased and surprised to see the name of Brigid Brophy.
Surprised, because I had a suspicion that her idiosyncratic, Firbankian novels were largely forgotten (they’re certainly out of print), and that she was now remembered, if at all, for her campaigning work to establish the Public Lending Right for authors. Pleased because I thought she was dead.
Unfortunately – looking into it a little further – I find that she did, indeed, die of multiple sclerosis in 1995. (Here is an obituary as proof).
I suppose this supports the general thesis implied by the title of the article – “Why don’t we love our intellectuals?”. We don’t even love them enough to notice that they’ve been dead for sixteen years.