Yesterday I burnt down the Commons’ Library, and today I’m doing the same with the Lords. Actually, I’ve been on leave for the last five days (of nine), determined to get the first draft of the book ready for checking by the beginning of September. I’ve been working about ten hours a day, and now have a numb little finger in my left hand, caused – I think – by “ulnar nerve compression”. In other words, I’ve been leaning too hard on the table with my elbow, chin in hand, while I re-read drafts. Other scrapes of the last five days include having to get a bald tyre replaced on the car on my way back from a research trip to the National Archives at Kew on Friday, and managing to spill an entire can of diet coke over myself in a moment of inattention. Ho-hum. Makes the fire seem like a picnic in comparison.
About Caroline Shenton
Dr Caroline Shenton is an archivist and historian. She was formerly Director of the Parliamentary Archives in London, and before that was a senior archivist at the National Archives. Her book The Day Parliament Burned Down won the Political Book of the Year Award in 2013 and Mary Beard called it 'microhistory at its absolute best' while Dan Jones considered it 'glorious'. Its acclaimed sequel, Mr Barryís War, about the rebuilding of the Palace of Westminster, was a Book of the Year in 2016 for The Daily Telegraph and BBC History Magazine and was described by Lucy Worsley as 'a real jewel, finely wrought and beautiful'. During 2017 Caroline will be Political Writer in Residence at Gladstone's Library.