Ian Rankin in battle of letters with the French


IAN RANKIN took a shot at the rarefied manners of the French today in a letter to the editor of a national newspaper.

Yesterday the Edinburgh author took to Twitter, posting an image of a letter from one Paul Thomas.

The letter described how Mr Thomas’s daughter uses his letters to the editor in an elaborate parlour game.

It said: “My French daughter took photocopies of my letters, enlarged them to A4 size, stuck them together and dyed them pink – and now uses them as a sunshade in her lounge in Paris.”

“When guests come to dinner they are asked to translate at least three letters into French, Russian and Chinese with the aid of dictionaries.

“The first to complete the task wins a bottle of Moët & Chandon and a slice of homemade dacquoise.”

Moët & Chandon champagne costs around £200 a bottle, whilst dacquoise is a decadent French dessert cake made with layers of almond and hazelnut meringue topped with whipped cream.

The author of the letter
The author of the letter


In his tweet Rankin made a sly dig at Thomas, saying “I’m sure we’ve all been to dinner parties like this.”

But it seems as though the riled writer was inspired to put his thoughts in print, and today the paper published his protestations.

His letter read: “Sir, I wish I could say that my dinner party games rival those of Paul Thomas’s daughter in Paris, but I’m fairly sure that, were I to offer my guests a ‘slice of homemade dacquoise’ as a prize for translating letters into three foreign languages, that delicious dessert might well end up in a place not intended for it.”

One of his Twitter followers bluntly agreed, adding: “Run that dinner party game in certain parts of London or Glasgow and you are likely to be glassed.”

Another follower from Lochend further highlighted the difference in etiquette between Paris and Edinburgh saying: “Mate, round mine for dinner as long as you don’t sh*t in my lounge or shag my dog then you win.”