Scoop & the Daily BeastSunday, 1 September 2013
Last month I wrote an article on travel writing in the ‘good old days’ for the online ‘newspaper’ The Daily Beast.
The Daily Beast was the newspaper featured in Evelyn Waugh’s 1938 classic Scoop. So I thought I’d better, finally, read it. William Boot, the hopeless hero of Scoop, is sent by Fleet Street magnate Lord Copper to cover a revolution in Ishmaelia, a fictitious country somewhere near the horn of East Africa, ie in the Djibouti, Eritrea, Somalia, Ethiopia region. Despite his complete incompetence Boot does indeed manage to score the scoop, but the credit gets diverted to John Courtney Boot, who should have been sent to Ishmaelia in the first place. That’s fine by William Boot, who hopes he’ll never get sent overseas again. There has always been much speculation over who Boot, Lord Copper and indeed the Daily Beast are based on.