These are set by Martin Armstrong. The first suggests that there might be a way of an author writing a blurb that might prevent a reviewer from being unkind to it. the more one thinks about this, the harder it seems to be to come up with an idea. But surely those intrepid entrants in the early thirties can do better.
No, not at all. This is the first time the A competition has come completely to grief (it’s happened to the B competition). Part of the problem is that the entrants automatically satirise the reviewer (and Armstrong is the lead reviewer for the WR). Two words: ‘No prizes’.
Armstrong doesn’t cover himself with glory in the B competition. He quotes Charles Kingsley from memory:
But as he admits, his memory is at fault – it’s ‘sweet maid’ and ‘let who can’. One of the many who write to correct him says that ‘sweet child’ is ‘too sickly sentimental’. As Armstrong says, why more than ‘sweet maid’? He doesn’t get it, and nor do I.