From the Archive: March 1941


After literary siblings Edith, Osbert, and Sacheverell Sitwell win £350 each in a libel case, The Strad muses on what the verdict might mean for arts critics in the future

The recent case, in which the three Sitwells were awarded damages against a newspaper on account of a criticism which they claimed to be libellous, suggests a possible extension to musical criticism. There is one school of thought which claims the right of a critic in any art to say what he likes within the bounds of public decency. There is much to be said in favour of this, though of course it would firstly be necessary that all criticism should be signed with the full name of the contributor to protect artists from frivolous or malicious attacks, and also so that the value of any particular opinion could be easily assessed having regard to the reputation of the writer…

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