Saturday, May 27, 2006


Reading the Nasty

Cambridge's fabled Tower of Nasty Bits is being opened to the public! Today's Independent of London reports:

[F]or the first time the university is set to reveal that the 170,000 books and papers previously consigned to the tower for being too populist and lowbrow to be of academic interest contain unique literary gems. An entire social history is recorded in assorted cookbooks, photo albums, school registers and cheap novels known as penny dreadfuls, which will now be available to the public.

Much of the material hasn't even been opened yet, apparently. But the Independent cites a few items already found in there, e.g. "Cookery books including one called Cheap, Nice and Nourishing Cookery, which recommends boiling carrots for two hours."

Ugh. Turns out there really is nasty stuff in that collection.

Sharp-eyed readers of the article will also notice that their holdings include a health & sex guide by one "Dr. Foote".... that's right. My favorite wacky Victorian doctor EVER.

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