"... no more than the flight of fancy of a young woman with self-confessed literary ambitions, and who, by the evidence of her own words, was in a troubled state of mind,"
he takes no chances with his subject, going on to make a "more detailed study of Braithwaite's work" along with conducting interviews with people (some of them from real life) known to have some sort of connection with him. Arthur Collins Braithwaite grew up in a working-class family in the North, his mother having abandoned the family when he was still a young boy. His father, an ironmonger, had decided that his sons would follow him into the family business, but even at an early age Arthur had been determined to go his own way. After World War II he studied at Oxford, but was unable to fit in "among the Eton and Harrow boys" and was failing miserably at his studies in Philosophy. He moved on to France, but it was back in England while working at Netley at a place "accommodating psychologically scarred veterans," where he met R.D. Laing, a psychologist from Scotland, who "made a lasting impression" on Braithwaite. Back at Oxford to study psychology at the age of twenty-eight, he slowly began to find himself "at the centre of things" holding regular meetings in his room ("The Wagstaff Club") where he managed to gather "fawning acolytes" of both sexes; it is here, I think, where we begin to understand just what a narcissistic ass this guy has become, not only in terms of his inflated sense of his own intellectual prowess, but also in his relationships with women. After graduating with a Ph.D, and without going into any kind of great detail here, he eventually wrote his Kill Your Self , not a smash hit at the time of its publication but a book that would go on to "be soon found in the back pocket of every student and bar-room philosopher." Braithwaite also gained a measure of notoriety and a regular clientele after attending a party where actor Dirk Bogarde was a guest -- this "unqualified charlatan "was soon getting calls from actors and people connected to the movie and theater business, as well as "cavalcade of beautiful girls and bohemians." He rode this wave for a while, his ego and wallet being fed by these people and his rise to fame.