Barrie, Beckett, Beerbohm, Blunden, Brooke ... ‘In the autumn of 1991, I started working for the Royal Society of Literature, one of the strangest and most beguiling organizations in London. Nobody, not even Roy Jenkins, its President, seemed to have much idea of the RSL’s purpose, and so in the evenings, after work, I took to exploring the archives. They lived in a small room over the front door of the Society’s home, 1 Hyde Park Gardens, stuffed into lever arch files whose spines read like a register of literary ghosts: Barrie, Beckett, Beerbohm, Blunden, Brooke . . . The yellowing letters inside the files did not, on the whole, concern matters of great intellectual weight – one Fellow had left his kid gloves after a lecture and wanted them ‘sent down’ to him in the country; another, suffering from lumbago, offered his apologies for the next Council meeting. But among them I found something that made me sit up. It was a list of my predecessors as Secretary: ten of them, beginning, in 1820, with Mr Cattermole. On average, I calculated, they had each served seventeen years. Never! I thought. Not me!’
From Maggie Fergusson’s brilliant article in Slightly Foxed magazine Issue 50.
This issue, together with a handsome red @royalsocietyofliterature notebook and a copy of one of our most charming paperbacks, The Young Ardizzone, are on offer in this week’s #GetFoxed60 draw, hosted by @booksugar ⭐️ TEN WINNERS ⭐️ The draw ends just before midnight tonight so do head over and take a look. #literaturematters