Are millennials really driving cancel culture – or is it their overcautious critics?

Older generations argue that young peoples insistence on equality in all things including books threatens to stifle free speech. But is that always true? I wouldnt normally air my dirty literary linen in public, but here goes. When I finished writing my novel Putney, about a 13-year-old girl who has a love affair in the 1970s with an older man and realises decades later that it was actually abuse, my previous editor at Jonathan Cape chose not to publish it. The reasons emerged this year when described in the Observer as a Lolita for the era of #MeToo. Whether there was any truth in his words or not, Franklins position reveals how much fear now exists in publishing. The balance …