Desperately Seeking Puttenham by Sam Leith

Sam Leith

Desperately Seeking Puttenham

 

Not long ago, the historian and MP Tristram Hunt wrote a piece in The Guardian waxing wistful about the news that, in a joint venture with Google, the British Library plans to put 250,000 books from between 1700 and 1870 online.

‘When everything is down-loadable,’ Hunt declared, ‘the mystery of history can be lost. Why sit in an archive leafing through impenetrable prose when you can slurp frappucino while scrolling down Edmund Burke documents? … it is only with MS in hand that the real meaning of the text

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