Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Seán Manchester on Paul Adams' "Written in Blood"

Paul Adams in his study at his Luton home in Bedfordshire.

Seán Manchester's comment on Paul Adams' Written in Blood:

"I allowed Paul Adams use of my copyright material concomitant to certain conditions being met. These were laid out to him on 13 December 2013. He showed no objection and, indeed, accepted my stipulations; namely that where photographs had previously been published in other books the relevant book's title would be identified to that effect below his own caption for the image in question. This he did with the photograph of me that was first published in Peter Underwood's Exorcism! (1990). This was done because he clearly did not want to give offence to Peter Underwood.

"The montage picture of press coverage that was originally published in the first edition of The Highgate Vampire (BOS, 1985), however, failed to receive the same treatment by the author of Written in Blood who clearly had no qualms with regard to the same offence being meted out to me. His caption merely identifies me as the copyright holder, ignoring the fact that the image originally appeared in the first edition of my own book, as agreed between us in 2013.

"There is much else Paul Adams reneged on in Written in Blood. Certain remarks I had been led to believe had been corrected or deleted mysteriously reappeared in his final draft before there was time to amend it; leaving in unjustified slights and minor errors which were understood by me last year to have been expurgated.

"It was always obvious to me that this was never going to be a level playing field or, indeed, a completely impartial account because what the author was perfectly willing to write about me in earlier drafts he was unwilling to attribute to my adversary when, for example, it was conclusively demonstrated that an incident originally in his draft manuscript concerning something in a television interview applied to the other party even though it had been attributed to me. I provided video footage of the television programme in question, after which the reference to me was deleted. What was telling, however, is that the same material was not printed about my adversary who had behaved exactly as had been attributed by Paul Adams to me. That notwithstanding, I shudder to imagine what the outcome could have been had I not provided my assistance by reading his early drafts and offering significant amendments backed with evidence.

"Curiously enough, despite my having given Paul Adams accurate information on dates, such like and so forth, he still managed to get some of them wrong. There really is no excuse for this. In his book, for example, he gives the year of my ordination (he was actually referring to my episcopal consecration) as 1993. In fact, I was ordained/consecrated as a bishop in 1991. He also misrepresents a character in my novel Carmel (Gothic Press, 2000) in a way I find bewildering, ie he describes a principal character, Lord Mamuciam, as "a swashbuckling bishop" when he is nothing of the sort. Moreover, he offers the date April 25th as the night on which a company of publicity-hungry people engaged in a witchcraft stunt at Kirklees in Yorkshire. It was actually 20 April 2005.

"Had Paul Adams honoured his word on our agreement concerning the montage picture of press coverage I would not be having this conversation, but he did not; just as did not honour his word on what purported to be his final draft forwarded for my perusal, which it was not. The final draft reached me many months later when the book was already at the printers and could not possibly be amended. 

"Written in Blood (The History Press, 2014) could have been so much better if care had been taken with the essential facts; a less sloppy attitude had been adopted toward detail where the Highgate and Kirklees material is concerned; and absolute impartiality meted out to those named in connection with the Highgate Cemetery goings-on. The book, however, is thankfully not malicious."

Bishop Seán Manchester

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