Perhaps it is simple good manners that impels me always to read the ‘Acknowledgements’ section in a book. More often than not this will be a list of names, almost all unknown to me, and institutions whose doorways I have never breached. Sometimes the tone is fulsome, sometimes arch, but in general writers keep it neutral and flat. It is always a pleasure, then, to find a jarring note, such as this:

In London I continued in what was by now an established pattern of finding kind and knowledgeable people and shamelessly exploiting them. These included, most notably, Dr. Ruth Paley, then of the Public Record Office, and Harriet Jones and Louise Falcini, both of the London Metropolitan Archives. Such happiness, however, was not destined to last, for my next stop was the new British Library. There I encountered a staff that was impervious to exploitation in any form; indeed, such was their fondness for reading The New York Review of Books that many could scarce find the time or energy to help readers humbler than themselves.

Sadder but wiser, I returned to Toronto.

Jessica Warner, in the PREFACE AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS, Containing As Many DISCLAIMERS as EXPRESSIONS OF GRATITUDE, along with Divers ENCOURAGEMENTS to the READER, in Craze : Gin And Debauchery In An Age Of Reason (2003)

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