redietz wrote: ↑
Thu Feb 06, 2020 12:56 am
letumgo wrote: ↑
Tue Feb 04, 2020 8:57 pm
Zoom in on the fish. By the shape of the head, and size, I’m pretty sure that is a pike...
I believe you're right.
It has to be said that there was Les's way of doing things, and the wrong way, so it is probably a good thing that he isn't around on social media right now, or the pair of us would be dodging bullets.
Les made his share of mistakes, like spelling Chippindale as Chippendale all the way through his book, and putting down Norman Nellist
Lee as Norman Nellis Lee. At least he only missed the T out of Lee's middle name once and didn't repeat it. You would have thought a proof editor would have caught the howler about Norman Nellis Lee, but I guess that there can’t have been one.
However, my favourite is on page 193, where he calls Herbert Maxwell, Robert Maxwell (brain fade, I imagine, what with the newspaper Maxwell being in the headlines all the time). Does it undermine the book? Nah, not really, we all knew who he meant.
But for all that, Magee’s isn't a bad book, because the mistakes are sporadic and they don't undermine the integrity of the book. Don't forget that when he wrote, it took fifty times as long to get anything researched, and also that there was hardly anything else written about the history of North Country flies at the time. In a way, criticising Les (and he could be a real curmudgeon's curmudgeon) is a bit like criticising John Waller Hills. Both of them paid their dues, did the groundwork, and paved the way for future historians, like thee and me. So I have to tip my hat to him. It would be seriously ungenerous to do otherwise.
With that out the way, and with me clutching my wooden stake and clove of garlic just in case he comes back (here, you hold onto them), lets get stuck into Les.
First, his table on page 38 was a crazy idea. The vast majority of the patterns in the lists he puts in there were named after an insect—so just correlating the names against the other lists conceals the problem that the patterns were completely different. You probably fish a pheasant tail, Rob, and so do I, so the names on 'our' lists would correlate, but we might be using completely different flies. There is other stuff like that in Magee, but again, it was the time he lived in, and mostly Les wasn't too far out (Roger Fogg rang him up by the way, because he got the date of The Art of the Wet Fly out by nine years).
Now before we go anywhere with this, I did spend time going over Magee's book, and I would like to ask what evidence you have that I didn't do so, Rob?
I will discuss stuff in an adult fashion more or less forever, but if you are going to rely on the type of language you have used at the top of this email, count me out, because I gave up that kind of foolishness when I was a child. If you didn’t mean it, fine, say so.
So this is a trial. I will always be polite to you, I won't make any observations about how thorough (or not) I might think you are, I will not make any observations on your character either, because otherwise, the good people here will think less of me. And you, my friend, will agree to do the same. If that is OK, then I will post the two lists side by side, and the people here can decide for themselves, rather than taking your or my word for it.
Deal, or no deal?