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Edmund Waller – a memory

It’s 1963 or 1964 in South Africa. I’m fourteen or fifteen. I’m standing in my father’s narrow, shabby and dusty study – feeling an acute sense of privilege and awe. This is his retreat, where he works away from the noise of family life and where he keeps his treasures – relics of his life in England, our childish drawings, our milk teeth. There are two crude, tight-packed bookshelves – one made of metal – and his greening academic gown with its moulting rabbit skin hood hangs on the door. There’s a pile of yellowing newspapers several feet deep in … Continue Reading