JK Rowling has mocked a left-wing lawyer after they became involved in another bust-up on Twitter.
The Telegraph reports that the Harry Potter author reacted after Jolyon Maugham KC slammed a review of his first book, Bringing Down Goliath, that said he was “in love with his own prose”.
The reviewer – not Rowling – claimed that Maugham was “a first-time author who should not be encouraged to re-offend ever again”.
The Times review was titled “the pompous bloviating of a Twitter KC” and said that the lawyer displayed “an ugly streak of meanness against anyone who disagrees with him”.
Mr Maugham claimed the bad review of his book, which explores a series of high-profile cases brought against the Government by his governance watchdog the Good Law Project, was because of where The Times “stands in relation to my politics”.
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He shared on Twitter: “In truth, in the eyes of newspapers like The Times, none of those things matters quite as much as your propensity, if you have a powerful voice, to conform to the destructive and self-serving paradigm it exists to maintain.”
Rowling responded to her 14m followers: “I’m sometimes asked how to handle bad reviews and usually answer along the lines of, ‘We’ve all had them and it’s never fun’.
“Sometimes you can learn from them. I find it helps to remember even Moby Dick got some stinkers. In future, I’ll just say, ‘Never go full Jolyon’.”
Her remarks triggered a row as Maugham first suggested Rowling should read his book before turning his sights on her gender-critical views. He claimed that gender-critical feminists – who believe sex is biological and cannot be changed – had rejected his offers to debate the issue with him.
Maugham wrote: “We both know the review has got nothing to do with the quality of the book and everything to do with what The Times is – and where it stands in relation to my politics – which is exactly the point my tweet makes.
“We both know I have written to many GC feminists seeking a private discussion of trans issues and to de-escalate the ‘debate’. I am sorry my approaches have been rebuffed. The book seeks in earnest to advance that same agenda – because the status quo only serves the patriarchy.”
It’s not the first time Maugham has spoken out against Rowling’s stance on transgender issues. In 2020, in response to the best-selling author mocking the term “people who menstruate” instead of using “women”, he tweeted: “If you are a trans boy or man who menstruates, Jo Rowling is saying you are a woman; she is (in the parlance) misgendering.”
Maugham was widely condemned four years ago after claiming he had “killed a fox with a baseball bat” while wearing his wife’s kimono on Boxing Day 2019. He has brought a number of cases against the Government through the Good Law Project, including over the procurement of PPE and the employment of a PR agency with Tory links to work on Covid-19 communications.
His book, due out on Thursday (April 27), discusses these cases and alleged “failings” in the UK’s judicial system.