India Knight

We’re all snobs really

D.J. Taylor’s clever dissection of snobs is really two books in one. Scattered throughout are entertaining, delicious (initially), solemnly related nuggets of hardcore snobbery. He writes brilliantly, for example, about the diarist and National Trust employee James Lees-Milne, who liked a world that knew its place (ideally beneath him). Lees-Milne was steeped so far in

O Rose thou art sick

Choosing to smell of something other than ourselves, and then perhaps in time coming to view that fragrance as ‘our’ smell — essence of us — is an odd business. I can’t wear Mitsouko because it smells of my great-aunt, for instance, which is at least relatively straightforward, but I also can’t wear Angel by