When asked how her children address her, the novelist A S Byatt replied “They call me A S Byatt”. This seems to me to be parenting of a decisively brilliant kind. It is rather late in the day, but I will demand that the not-so-tiny Key nippers call me “Mr Key”.

Meanwhile, if ever I bump into A S Byatt – and I well might, in the bookish labyrinth of the London Library – I am going to call her “Mum”.

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