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History at Play

When I was little and attending nursery school in Italy, each person in my class had a grembiule (a coverall) and a hook with matched patches on it. Each patch had a different animal on it, so we could each recognize our belongings. Mine was a swan.

Today, after coming back in from the sunshine after the British Library was evacuated for fire alarms, I learned that the swan was a symbol (at least in the Renaissance) for Clio, Muse of History. Very appropriate.




I spent the morning orienting myself at the Wellcome Library, time well spent filling in small gaps in my history of spectacles bibliography, before meeting up with oursin for lunch. We spent a very pleasant meal eating Indian buffet food and talking about good London restaurants, food writing, academia, and, of course, LJ.

In the evening, we joined naxos for drinks at a nearby pub. As a result, I grateful that historical narratives aren't currently patentable, that large conference calls are infrequent in my discipline, and that my email doesn't self-delete after thirty days. Added bonus: the pub serves ginger wine.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
oursin
Mar. 25th, 2005 02:09 pm (UTC)
It's a pity you had to see the Wellcome in its current adequate, but far from ideal, premises: the sight of the reading room in the building currently covered with scaffolding, etc, on the other side of the Euston Road used to stop people dead as they went in, it was that impressive.
larkvi
Mar. 27th, 2005 12:10 am (UTC)
If you have a chance to stop by a bookstore (or are going to be in Britain long enough to get Amazon to ship it to you) could you pick up a copy of the Bee Wilson book here? It looks like they have no plans to release it in N America. I will happily pay whatever money and trouble it costs you.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0719564093/qid=1111882095/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl/202-6689474-0299001
owlfish
Mar. 27th, 2005 05:22 pm (UTC)
It's a four day Bank holiday weekend at the moment, I'm afraid, and I'm leaving Tuesday, the first day that deliveries could be made, so I won't have a chance to pick it up - unless, against hope, an airport bookstore happens to have it.

Colin will be coming over on April 22nd, though, so if you want, you can mail order it to our place here and he can bring it over then. Let me know if you're interested and I'll get you the full mailing address.
larkvi
Mar. 28th, 2005 07:32 pm (UTC)
My fault for not thinking of it sooner. Please do email me the info, and I will have it shipped. Thank you.
owlfish
Mar. 27th, 2005 05:22 pm (UTC)
Will the library be there again? What's the projected timetable for construction?
oursin
Mar. 27th, 2005 05:40 pm (UTC)
The date that's being given out for the return to the Wellcome Building is sometime during the second half of 2006: and as far as I know the reading room is going to be preserved pretty much as is.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )