One of Fleet Street’s great columnists is supporting the Journalists’ Charity from beyond the grave.
Cassandra at His Finest and Funniest, a selection of the work of The Daily Mirror’s Sir William Connor, is being published by Revel Barker, with royalties from sales going straight to the Journalists’ Charity.
Connor wrote as Cassandra for the Mirror from July 1935 until 1 February, 1967. He died later that year, on 6 April, 1967.
The foreword to the book is a tribute to Cassandra, written by formerr Mirror editorial director, the late Hugh Cudlipp. He said that ‘the millions of his followers throughout the English-speaking world will treasure this book of some of his finest and funniest writing.”
Describing Connor, he said: ‘For a writer who died at 57 – he was three weeks from 58 – Cassandra exuded a matchless zest for life. He held that no major event should occur in his absence, bereft of his comment in admonition or acclamation.
‘Outwardly he was stubborn, cantankerous, prickly. Except in the benign moments, which were not infrequent, conversation with him was a boisterous affray; as a marathon reader of books and magazines, his mental ammo was abundant. But the explosive verbal combats ended as a rule with the twinkling eyes peering over the steamed-up spectacles.
‘Inwardly, he was a warm and friendly cove, always pressuring the firm and his friends to be generous to a pensioner or to a journalist who had fallen by the wayside. Hundreds of people up the creek turned to Bill for guidance, even on matrimonial crises. The people he dissected in his writings usually ended up on amicable terms. When the nails were withdrawn and the wounds had slowly healed the people he crucified were forgiving.”
Cassandra at His Finest and Funniest is £9.99 and can be ordered from most bookshops