Posts Tagged ‘Paul Lester’

Guardian, say it isn’t so

Bothered by the glaring error in Paul Lester’s music review of Wolfette in The Guardian? The one where he claims that Dominique Woolf is the great granddaughter of Virginia Woolf?

Well, email your complaint to reader@guardian.co.uk, the office that handles reader queries about Guardian accuracy and standards. When requesting a correction, you should send a web link of the story.

Since the Guardian’s policy is “to correct significant errors as soon as possible,” they will want to know about this one. After what happened with News of the World, someone has to keep a squeaky clean image.

Meawhile, out of Woolfette’s mouth came these words, spoken during an April Q&A posted on So So Gay:

Apparently you’re distantly related to Virginia Woolf.

She was married to my grandmother’s uncle. That makes her my great-great-aunt by marriage… I think.

Readers have pointed out Lester’s error, but so far he has failed to admit his mistake or publish a correction. Let’s hope the powers-that-be at The Guardian will show him the error of his ways — in more ways than one.

But as Stuart N. Clarke noted, “According to A E Housman, `the faintest of all human passions is the love of truth’.”

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A post on The Guardian’s website by Paul Lester reports that Virginia Woolf’s great granddaughter, Dominique Woolf of Wolfette, is a rocker. Trouble is, Virginia and Leonard Woolf didn’t have any children, so they don’t have any grandchildren or great grandchildren either.

When readers pointed out Lester’s error, he posted a response that showed his unconcern with the concept of fact checking — and the importance of facts in general.

Here’s what he wrote:

I was told she was the great-granddaughter by her “people”, and the fact has been repeated in all of the articles thus far about her, so I did the same. Baa. If it’s not true, it doesn’t change my assessment of her or her music. But it is interesting that her team are pushing the idea that she is the progeny of the famous writer. I think it’s interesting, anyway.

“Interesting”? I think “reprehensible lie” is a more apt descriptions. Or maybe “lawsuit waiting to happen” is a better fit.

In addition to the huge inaccuracy already noted, Lester’s post is full of inanities such as these:

  • “Dominique Woolf’s toothless rebel-girl rock would make her great-grandmother Virginia howl, and possibly us too”
  • “Whether we did or not, here they are, led by the great-granddaughter of tormented early-20th century intellectual and author, Virginia Woolf, which explains Wolfette’s stage name, although anyone expecting revolutionary discourses on the nature of love and marriage  may be disappointed.”
  • “She’ll be howling at the moon when she reads this.”

So will we all.

Editor’s Note: As of July 21, Lester had not published a formal correction. You can write The Guardian at reader@guardian.co.uk to ask for one. Be sure to include the link to the story in your email.

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