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While dividing opinion, Prince Harry’s Spare has proven to be a roaring success. It’s become the fastest-selling non-fiction book of all time, a victory for his publishers who reportedly paid a $20 million advance to Harry. Much of the negative reaction to the book is the personal details shared without the consent of others involved in the story, but there are also repeated moments which have been described as factual inaccuracies. However, the ghost writer has dismissed criticism of this as simply “blurry” memories.
- Prince Harry’s ghost writer has defended Spare against accusations of factual inaccuracies
- J.R. Moehringer has taken to social media to defend the reasons for inaccuracies in some of the excerpts, quoting studies on the “blurry” nature of memory
- In other royal news, Princess Charlotte could receive this title when Prince William becomes King
Harry’s ghostwriter for Spare was J.R. Moehringer, a celebrated author who has ghostwritten best-selling books for Andre Agassi and Phil Knight’s Shoe Dog.
He has scored another success with Spare, now the fastest-selling non-fiction book of all time. However, some have accused the book of several factual inconsistencies or inaccuracies.
What are some of the moments being challenged?
The memories which have been called “inaccurate” or questioned include
- Where Harry was when the Queen Mother died - Harry claimed he was at Eton College when news of his great-grandmother’s death came, but news reports show that hewas on a skiing holiday in Switzerland with King Charles and Prince William
- Harry’s Xbox from Diana – Harry recalls his mother getting him an Xbox for his 13th birthday (in 1997), but the console wasn’t released until 2001
- Who his ancestors were – Harry writes that Henry VI was his “great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather” but this monarch only had one son, Edward of Westminster, who died without any heirs during the Battle of Tewkesbury.
While many would agree these inaccuracies are minor and not too consequential, his ghost writer has defended them still.
https://t.co/u6ztJtu7tL pic.twitter.com/c8TEy5DRzaJanuary 11, 2023
Taking to his social media, J.R. Moehringer posted three quotes from Mary Karr's The Art of Memoir which position memory and autobiography as subject to blurry memories and emotional distortion.
In one of the passages posted from the book, it read, "The line between memory and fact is blurry, between interpretation and fact. There are inadvertent mistakes of those kinds out the wazoo."
In another, it reads, "Neurologist Jonathan Mink, MD, explained to me that with such intense memories as David’s, we often record the emotion alone, all detail blurred into unreadable smear."
Moehringer also defended the book using quotes from Spare itself.
“Whatever the cause, my memory is my memory, it does what it does, gathers and curates as it sees fit, and there’s just as much truth in what I remember and how I remember it as there is in so-called objective facts. Things like chronology and cause-and-effect are often just fables we tell ourselves about the past.”
"Landscape, geography, architecture, that’s how my memory rolls. Dates? Sorry, I’ll need to look them up. Dialogue? I’ll try my best, but make no verbatim claims, especially when it comes to the nineties.”
Jack Slater is not the Last Action Hero, but that's what comes up first when you Google him. Preferring a much more sedentary life, Jack gets his thrills by covering news, entertainment, celebrity, film and culture for woman&home, and other digital publications.
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