<> Boyd002 Boyd Letters Boyd Estate 1949 Mar 1st Linen Hall Library Wednesday, March 16, 2016 TIFF Boyd002 Letter Craigavon, Trinity College Dublin English https://www.niliteraryarchive.com/content/boyd002 Linen Hall Library Linen Hall Library Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike CC BY-NC-SA https://www.niliteraryarchive.com/sites/default/files/Boyd002_3.jpg LHL Archive 1st March, 1949. Dear St.John Ervine, Thank you very much for sending me a proof copy of Craigavon and also your long letter. The delay In answering both is due to the fact that I am having trouble with my wisdom teeth and trying to forget the toothache by reading Craigavon before sending it out to be read by your reviewer. Unfortun- ately I am not allowed to do it myself, and indeed I am not capable of the job. I am now about one-third way through it and am full of admiration. It's a big book in every sense, and it seems to me a work of scholarship and of far-reaching scope. Whether your thesis is or is not right I just don’t know, and most of my ingrained protestant prejudices are in favour of your arguments. You have of course put up a most formidable case and it will be interesting reading and listening to people who will try to knock you down. What I did whole- heartedly admire was your prose, which in Craigavon is of rare vintage. The book was obviously a labour of love and must have given you great enjoyment to write. I met Craigavon only once and was not in the least impressed by him and his appear- ance had no attraction at all for me; but your portrayal of his character seemed to me so sane and balanced and just that I am almost won over. In other words you have mesmerised me and I hope to come to my senses within the next fortnight, probably having lost my wisdom teeth during the same period. I don't yet know who will be chosen to review Craigavon. We are offering the job to Professor Moody, now of Trinity College Dublin, but for a long time lecturer at Queen’s, and of course a Belfastman and an Ulsterman. He is one of our most distinguished historians and should be able to discuss the book intelligently. He is a bit of a dry stick personally but he is considered a very sound historian. At least he won’t butter you up: the probability is that he will pierce your armour at various places, and we of course will give him a free hand. At the moment he is in Leeds and I have not yet got his acceptance. If he does not want to do the job I’ll think of somebody else and inform you as soon as a decision is reached. I am rushing off now to take part in one of those dreadful Quiz programmes whose continuing popularity I can never understand. Text