The British Library is wonderful and like many places in London it can provide intellectual and quiet relief from the daily grind, and especially the horrors of the Euston Road.
So the news that the British Library along with the National Library of Scotland, the National Library of Wales, the Bodleian Libraries, Cambridge University Library and Trinity College Library Dublin now have the right to archive a copy of every UK digital publication, as they have done with print publications for several centuries, is big news. Continue reading →
For those of you who haven’t come across him, Arthur Koestler was a great writer who committed suicide with his wife at their Knightsbridge home in 1983.
Hungarian-born and a man of the Deep Left, his 1940s book Darkness At Noon was one of the first to recognise that the Utopian of a truly communist society was over and would always end in a totalitarian state. Think of it as a precursor to 1984.
Koestler was also a committed Zionsit (we can’t all be perfect) and in 1932 while drifting over the Arctic in a Zeppelin (as you do), dropped a Star of David flag onto the tundra of Russia’s Novaya Zemlya and claimed it as a Hebrew national home. Continue reading →