Forum: P.J. Marshall

P.J. Marshall is concerned about who reads what and who cares.

For most history graduates of British universities, who showed even moderate conscientiousness, the most abiding memory of the three years of the course must be the struggle for books: queuing up on the steps of the university library to get the 'reserved' copy the moment the doors open; bullying one's peers to disgorge copies they have borrowed; treking out to remote borough libraries in the vain hope that they might have a copy of an important item on the weekly reading list. Memory no doubt distorts unfairly at this point, but some graduates, at least, may perhaps recall a certain nonchalance about their difficulties among those who taught them. If the members of the staff of one's department concerned themselves with the library at all, they gave (however misleadingly) the impression that what concerned them was not whether the books they recommended were available, but that the part of the library that housed their particular expertise was able to match the British Library or whether enough footling journals edited by themselves or their friends were being taken.

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