Wednesday 19 August 2015

Daisy chains

But not that sort of daisy.
Not ones with flowers, but the connections that lead from one thing to another when you are doing research.

In my 'day job' I work with a lot of material from archives. Which means places like the National Archive at Kew in London send me e-mail newsletters. Which sometimes include details of the offering from the on-site bookshop. I think that was where I saw Roy Berkeley's A Spy's London. It might have been something from the British Library bookshop. You can see where this is going, can't you? Temptation, right there in the in-box.

I resisted the physical book. (Sorry, whichever bookshop sent me the e-mail. I'm sure I'll make it up to you next time I visit.) But eventually I succumbed to downloading to the Kindle. Research, It's called research. But the book writing  kind not for the academic work.

I didn't realise until I dipped into it that the book is actually a series of walks around London, looking at places made famous (or infamous) by connections with espionage. I probably didn't read the blurb properly.

I'm now very much enjoying intermittent armchair walks around areas of London that I know quite well, and I'm learning a lot. And also finding out that there is a lot more to learn. Which in due course will probably mean more books. See what I mean, about daisy chains? One thing leading to another. I was delighted to find that the book has information that will be useful  for a number of the ideas that I have in my head - a time slip set partially in World War Two and the contemporaries that now have their own log book.

But If I hadn't been on the mailing list for the Archive/Library bookshop I probably would never have found it.

Daisy chains. Or possibly serendipity?


  1. Fascinating - I'll be interested to see what you do with this!
    Angela Britnell

    1. Thanks Angela - unfortunately it might be a while!