Theirs was a famous literary friendship based "on a shared love of jazz, poetry and sexual confession".
There was much talk of 'young girls':
"Pubescent, but only just, was their agreed ideal: the 12-16 age group. Nowadays such feelings are classed as 'paedophilia' although perhaps we ought to revive the neglected word 'ephebophilia' (love of youth) here. It's tricky territory in today's Salem, 1692-type atmosphere admittedly. Perhaps both writers should be put on some post-mortem Jimmy Saville register along with Elvis, Edgar Allan Poe, Romeo and quite a few others."
Mmm, it's the 'perhaps' that concerns me.
Although not exactly endorsing the writers' misbehavior our reviewer does seem to be waggling a sympathetic ear and gives an amusing account of Amis's wife writing on his chest with lipstick as he lay sleeping on a beach "One Fat Englishman. I f*** anything"
'Tricky territory' indeed.
Maybe it's time to change my choice of newspaper...
Or is Hart simply reminding us that, as times change, so do our attitudes to taboo subjects?
Lest we forget...