Tuesday, November 26, 2002

A couple of weeks ago, I briefly quoted Lord Byron's thoughts on the fact that the Wahhabists had taken over the holy sites of Islam, from the poem Childe Harold's Pilgrimage , published in 1812. This afternoon, I was walking past the British Library and I just popped in for a look at the exhibition rooms. In the room entitled "Treasures of the British Library", which is full of original manuscripts of Lewis Carroll, Jane Austen, and many other writers, as well as first folios of Hamlet and many other items of great cultural value, I quite by accident found myself looking at the notebook in which the first draft of the poem was written in Byron's handwriting. London is like that: full of wonderful and extraordinary things.

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