Friday, 28 August 2009

The Age's History lessons

It is reassuring to notice that sometimes a reader manages to correct a few of The Age's errors, caused by the ignorance of the journalists in charge. Of course I do not accuse them of a biased film review, when it is sheer stupidity.

Middle Park resident Robert H.’s letter to the editor was published today:

History lesson
WHEN I go to see The Young Victoria I hope to find that the filmmakers have achieved better historical accuracy than is implied in Jim Schembri's review (The Age, 27/8). King William was not Victoria's ''father'' but her uncle.
Prince Albert was not ''Belgian'' but German. To say that Victoria's mother, the Duchess of Kent, tried ''thwarting her, if only for her own good'' sanitises a malodorous episode: the Duchess, bitter that her husband's death prevented her from becoming queen, set out, in league with the evil Sir John Conroy, to promote herself as the obvious choice for regent should William die before Victoria reached 18. There is some evidence that the Duchess' first move, as regent, would have been to have Victoria declared insane, a la George III.

One may wonder why the editor chose the headline "History lesson" when it is so obvious that none of the editorial staff either had any or are interested in receiving any history lessons.

If you want to read the rather shallow review by Jim Schembri, click here. The Age kept the faulty piece of journalism online and changed only the most obvious mistake (King William IV being Victoria's father instead of being her uncle, but Prince Albert remains “her long-distance Belgian suitor”).

The mistake was not corrected in today's edition of the Entertainment Guide, where on page 5 it is still claimed that Victoria took "over from her father, King William". Never trust anything you read in The Age.

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