Dona Juana is well represented in the arts

Rarely has the NS offered its readers a piece as idiotic as that by Charles Glass ("Sex, the city and the Dona Juanas", 12 February).

He refers to Casanova as a "great lover", revealing his ignorance of a significant body of scholarly work demonstrating that, far from being in the business of "bedding rare beauties", Casanova's principal activity was the rape of teenagers and unhappy matrons.

Moreover, Glass appears to base his entire theory of the paucity of cultural and artistic representations of active female sexuality on the first episode of Sex and the City, supporting his argument by citing two or three third-rate columnists and recounting his hapless friend Rupert's adventures in a Soho basement. Has this man no knowledge of Greek mythology? Has he never seen a production of Antony and Cleopatra? Is he unacquainted with the marvellous Marquise de Mertueil in Laclos' Les Liaisons Dangereuses? Has he never even seen Greta Garbo in Mata Hari?

I think the NS should now redress the balance by giving up a full page to the ramblings of an equally ill-informed woman journalist who can entertain us all with a historical overview of male sexual predators in the arts, based on the first series of Men Behaving Badly, a copy of Loaded and a night out in a Romford discotheque.

Annie Gunner
Edinburgh

This article first appeared in the 19 February 1999 issue of the New Statesman, We are richer than you think