chapter
23 Pages

12

ByJenny Rees, Diana Trilling

In an interview with Rees published in The Scotsman at the beginning of 1972, to coincide with the publication of A Chapter of Accidents, the writer William Foster tried to get to grips with his subject and managed remarkably well. Under the headline ‘A rebel about Celtic backwaters’, he wrote of my father: ‘He has a smile that flashes on and off suddenly, rather like the warning blinks of a strip light when someone pushes down a switch. He says his life has been a restless one with far too many jobs taken on, too many worlds either conquered or left in a mild state of chaos because of his arrival on the scene.’ Foster’s article was accompanied by a large photograph of Rees, smoking a cigarette and looking sleek, confident and handsome. The reviews of the book, which Rees dedicated to my mother, were on the whole excellent: some of the reviewers took the opportunity to launch into yet another commentary on the lives and times of the Missing Diplomats while others used their space to deliver some more personal shots. Guy’s photograph was taken out of the picture libraries and given another airing. I remember that the original manuscript was thought to contain a number of possibly libellous passages which had to be doctored at the last minute. There is no doubt that this was another attempt by Rees to settle the score with Anthony Blunt, but he could not, of course, name names.