Free the extracts!


So it’s official. Hillary is the Democratic nominee for President. I’m mainly starting this article disclosing this information because at a recent dinner I attended I was trolled face-to-face by a Queenslander who suggested I was a psychopath (another story) and asked whether I could read as he clearly felt I was *that* stupid. Well this Literature graduate can read, and sometimes he sways away from the Showbiz tag… but, back to the point. Hillary is the Democrat nominee and, whilst I’ll always be #TeamMonica, it’s big news. Could the Clintons make a dramatic, historic return to the White House?

Many have views on the Clintons, but the other day I was flicking through Adrian Mole and the Cappuccino Years, and realised the Mole-Braithwaites had got it particularly right when they were referring to the Clintons in 1998. Then I realised Penguin never got back to my handwritten letter imploring the publishing house to ‘release the extracts’ of the unfinished and unpublished ninth diary ‘Pandora’s Box.’

Attached within is this piece I have added the two superb extracts which fully show Townsend’s comic skill and her ability to catch the political mood of Leicester’s first family. After that, my plea for Penguin to do the right thing.

Saturday January 17th, 1998

Poor President Clinton has had to put up with a lot since he was elected. The Ku Klux Klan, the Survivalists and the Daughters of the Revolution have all been out to discredit him. Now they have come up with a ludicrous story about him sexually harassing a woman called Paula Jones in a hotel room in Arkansas in 1991. As if! He is a good-looking bloke, he doesn’t need to sexually harass any woman. I asked my mother if she had heard about the Paula Jones case. She looked back at me with pity in her eyes. ‘The whole world has heard about Paula Jones,’ she said. ‘Where have you been? On the planet Zog?’

I said it wasn’t possible to keep up with all the news.

She said, ‘We’re not talking about a three-car pile-up in Market Harborough, Adrian. This is top of the broadcast, world-class, CNN, BBC, headline news.’ She advised me to see a neurologist: she thinks I may be suffering from selective memory loss.

Thursday January 29th, 1998

President Clinton has denied in the strongest possible terms that he ever had sex with a White House intern called Monica Lewinsky. Looking into the camera and stabbing his finger for emphasis, he said, with the burning honesty, ‘I did not have sexual relations with the woman.’ He then added, with his charming Southern manners, ‘Miss Lewinsky’. I, for one, believe him totally.

My mother and Ivan seem to know all about the Lewinsky affair. When I said that I had never heard of the young woman before today, they looked at me incredulously. Ivan said, ‘I once had a secretary at the dairy who’d never heard of Van Gogh. She thought Van Morrison has pained Sunflowers.’

My mother said, ‘You seem to filter out anything remotely detrimental to President Clinton.’
I said I admired the man.
She said, ‘He’s a sex addict.’
I pointed out that his wife, Hillary, was an attractive woman. Why would he need to look elsewhere for sexual gratification.
They looked at each other: ‘I think we’ve got a Mary Archer “fragrant” situation here,’ said Ivan.
My mother said, ‘Adrian, you’ll be thirty-one in a couple of months. I know you’ve had sex at least twice, but you don’t seem to know the first thing about lust.’

I went upstairs to watch Newsnight on my portable, Pandora’s on now quite often.

 

Dear Penguin,

Having just reread Adrian Mole and the Prostrate Years (which, of course was fantastic) I did the sum total of several minutes research into Adrian Mole post-2010. The purpose of this activity was to willingly find and read any information about the possibility of those locked extracts from the unfinished ninth volume of Adrian Mole’s Diary, Pandora’s Box being published.
As ever, several questions about the nature of the Mole tapestry gripped me when searching – will Pandora survive the General Election (unless of course it’s set from June 2008)? Will William (or ‘Wole’) return? Will Adrian finally get to visit the new John Lewis department store in Leicester? I really implore for any additional information – even if it’s negative about the future plans of publication, as I assume those extracts will play a continued legacy for fans desperate to inhabit more of the world of our
favourite provincial Diarist.

As this year marks Susan’s 70th birthday (and Adrian’s 49th, or 48th depending on

which diary read) year, this might be a great time for some of the entries to be published, much in the same way the Royal Wedding special was published in the Guardian. I assure the fans want as much Mole as we can get.

I am and remain a massive fan of Sue and own almost all her works. Just Ghost Children remains to be my added to my ‘Sue shelf’ – if anyone could get back to me on this exciting matter, I’d be eternally grateful.

I did send this letter beforehand but fear there was no reply because I wrote the letter entirely in pencil, in a similar way that Adrian did when he first wrote to John Tydeman to kickstart his ill-fated career with the BBC.

I look forward for a response on this matter and, to quote Adrian

I remain, forever your humble servant,

Adrian Stuart.

So, from this Adrian, Penguin, give the book-buying public the news we want to hear!

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