So that was me told.
Older, and wiser (and published) I now recognise that it's one of those areas of English, like split infinitives, that some people have a thing about. At the time I slunk off into a corner, never to ask a rhetorical question again. Or did I? Well, in truth, I have sinned, but never without that particular grande dame's voice reverberating around my skull.
Does it matter? Should one not be free to write as you wish? Shouldn't we liberate ourselves from out-moded rules about style? Or do we readers become fed up with one damn question after another? Who knows?
So much about writing is a question of taste. Personally, I quite like a rhetorical question every now and then but, like exclamation marks, usage should be limited or the writing appears cluttered. And it's well to be aware that for some people it leads to automatic dismissal. But then, I was never interested in writing Literature with a capital L. I have only ever wanted to write stuff people want to read.
NEW!!! I've finally got round to organising some course dates....
How to WRITE a Novel: London 3rd May/Birmingham 7th May/
Oxford 8th May/Exeter 21st May/Bath 12th June
How to SELL a Novel: London 24th May/Exeter 4th June/Bath 3rd July