It’s hard to believe that I, a shameless book nerd, a lover of libraries and the written word, a proponent of public spaces and exhibitions, yes, me, it is hard to believe that in all my times living in and visiting London, I have never been to the British Library.
So yesterday I went to the British Library. I didn’t stay long, just connected to the free wi-fi and had a quick look through their treasures exhibition. They have a collection of hand written documents – important legal documents like the Magna Carta, of course, and bibles and shit, as well as the original manuscripts for Dickens and Austen and the Beatles. They also have a collection of original scores. I learned that even in sheet music each artist has their own handwriting. I suppose this shouldn’t be a surprise. Each composer has their own style, a long flourish for the quaver, a short dot of surprise at the bottom of a crotchet, semi, demi, hemidemisemi quavers of various shapes and sizes. Chopin’s hand was small and neat, precise. Young Beethoven’s was large and messy, dynamic.
And John Lennon had rather neat handwriting.