Letter from Norman Leys to Leonard Woolf (01/04/1926)




[[MS 2750/255/105]]


Brailsford I-[1 character illeg]-[19]26


Dear Wolff ­[sic],


These are the worst of a bundle that arrived this morning. They seem to me to transform the situation and I ask your advice on it not merely because your reputation is also involved but because I much want to know what you really think.


First thoughts on the Daily Express cutting force me to the view that it is my duty to sue the paper. I can only see one good reason for refraining, the loathing with which my wife would regard the proceeding. If I dont [sic], on the other hand, my evidence, past and future, everything I have written and anything I may ever write is publicly discredited. I can think of no other way of escape from the position of a man [one illeg. word crossed out] who is proved on official evidence to be a liar. It would not be enough, for example to make the 'Express' give me a whole column in answer. People in future would simply allude to me and, what matters far more, to what I have written, as a person and a book of notorious falsity. That is quite clearly my first view and I cannot imagine anything to make it different after a month's reflection.


Is there any friend in the great world to whom you could venture to submit the point? I enclose a draft of what I proposed to write to the press, a procedure that now seems to me to inadequate.


yours | Norman Leys [signature]


[*P.S.*] [the postscript is handwritten]


[*On second thoughts I dont [sic] see why I should trouble you with the statement.*]


[*I could go to London on Friday. Is there any lawyer of special experience you think I might*]





[*consult on that day?*]


[*The white paper does not say that anything I alleged was "cruel & malicious" or "the precise opposite of the truth" - see p.6 of the cmd.2629.*]

Rights Statement:

Reproduced with the permission of the estate of the author, courtesy of Penguin Random House Archive and Library owner of the Hogarth Press archive collection, held by the University of Reading Special Collections.  This item has not been made available through a CC By-ND-NC licence, please see our terms of use page for further detail. The featured newspaper clippings are now out of copyright.

Source: MS 2750/255/105

Image Rights Holder: © Estate of Norman Leys

Letter from Norman Leys to Leonard Woolf (01/04/1926)



University of Reading, Special Collections

Archival Folder:

Norman Leys writes regarding the Daily Express and feels that it is duty to sue the paper. He talks about being publicly discredited; his reputation; and states that he wishes to write to the press. He refers to the 'cmd 2629' [MS 2750/255/104] paper and attaches newspaper clippings from Daily Express press; African World London; and the Daily express. [these clippings are enclosed with the letter.]