One day many years ago, in Edinburgh, I took shelter from yet another icy downpour in a little bookshop – and what could I do, but browse the shelves? For some reason, a small blue book caught my attention: Kidnapped, by R.L. Stevenson. I’d read Treasure Island, of course, and Jekill&Hyde – who doesn’t? – and The Black Arrow had been a childhood favourite. Now another historical novel from the same author, and with a Scottish setting to boot, seemed like a good idea, even though it was printed on flimsy grey paper, in a font so small to imperil one’s eyesight… Still, buy it I did, and after the bookshop, ensconced myself in a nearby tea room, ordered tea and scones, and began to read. Continue reading
We were speaking of notebooks, remember?
Well, Henry James was one compulsive notebooker. He always had one with him, where he noted ideas and interesting conversations, he brainstormed plot and characters and recorded engagements and addresses. Among other things, in one of them is found his solemn decision of giving up playwriting after Guy Domville flopped.
Poor Mr. James… Continue reading