So was Mr Crew’s scathing email the product of two out-of-touch, stiff-upper-lip parents with unrealistically high expectations of their children?
The kind of parents who long to boast at dinner parties of their children’s achievements? Or is it the kind of email many ageing parents — still nurturing their needy, financially struggling, emotionally dependent offspring well into their late 30s and 40s — would secretly love to write?
Today, Emily, now working as a translator in France, still finds her father’s email hard to stomach, but admits: ‘A lot of what Dad said is true and with time I’ve become more sympathetic towards his point of view.
‘What he said is what a lot of people of his age, gender and class would probably like to say to their children but would never dare to.