Friday, March 10, 2006

(168) Maurice Grosse

On the evening of June 7th 2000 I glanced at Bob Geldof’s autobiography Is That It? to look at references to how he met his ex-wife, who had become our new next door neighbour. There was a description of their fellow travellers on board a Trans-Siberian train. One was an Englishman called Maurice - "who looked like a train-spotter".

The name made me think of the only Englishman of that name that I had ever encountered: Maurice Grosse. Mr Grosse was a senior figure in the Society For Psychical Research with whom I had spoken at their annual conference in Winchester in 1988.

Several hours later my wife asked me to watch - for her, whilst she attended to a matter on the computer in another room - the last few minutes of an unscripted show involving Frank Skinner and David Baddiel, in case she missed anything particularly funny.
Baddiel mentioned a novel he had written where he had invented a psychical researcher called Maurice Grosse - and had then found himself sued by the very psychical researcher of that name.
He had been forced to pay him £5000.

2 comments:

Tom Ruffles said...

This doesn't say much for David Baddiel's depth of research - given Maurice's fame within psychical research circles his name should not have been hard to spot.

James said...

Freudian slip, I should imagine, Tom.