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The Gaffer’s Desk

Welcome, booklovers, to the inner sanctum! Basil Blackwell’s very own office. The room the ‘Gaffer’ (1889-1984) made his home for so many years. The hub, the heart, the epicentre of a book business that grew to be one of the biggest in the world. Behold: the bakelite telephone connecting him to an ever-expanding network of shop managers around the country; the oar-shaped quill presented to him in recognition of his rowing prowess; the Delft-tiled fireplace which must have cooked up a veritable literary fug; the chair opposite in which once sat his great friend J.R.R. Tolkien, puffing vast plumes ... CONTINUE READING