Can You Forgive Her?

I recently got myself a reader’s ticket for the British Library. There is a tremendously civilised process to apply for it, involving form-filling (now possible on-line) and providing proof of address. Part of the questioning relates to the reasons why you want a ticket to access the library’s archives. 

I could argue how could any right thinking person not want to be able to access without charge a title list that is as near as damn it every book ever written. 

But they want you to be a bit more specific so I concocted some feeble reason about wanting to access contemporary criticism of specific authors (notably Trollope) and genres (crime fiction and specifically golden age crime fiction) about which I write/blog. 

This answer, summoned up out of my imagination on the spur of the moment apparently satisfied them and I received my ticket enabling me to order up any book or magazine I fancied and to come into the library to read it. 

I also discovered the library has fantastic online facilities too. 

For example there are scholarly articles on Trollope by critics and academics such as John Sutherland, whose books of popular cultural analysis I thoroughly enjoy (think Is Heathcliff a Murderer? Great Puzzles in 19th Century Fiction and similar titles). Here is a link to an article of his on power and gender politics in Trollope’s first novel in the Palliser series which is both thought-provoking and accessible.


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