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“When the question of its sale came up, the radical politician John Wilkes had advised the British parliament to turn it into a national gallery: “A noble gallery ought to be built in the garden of the British Museum for the reception of this invaluable collection.””
“A twelfth century author of quite different character had a good hold upon the people; the number of copies of Geoffrey of Monmouth must have been considerable, for the British Museum now has thirty-five copies and Bodley's Library sixteen.”
“No age can ever have been as stridently sex – conscious as our own; those innumerable books by men about women in the British Museum are a proof of it.”
“There is a papyrus in the British Museum containing medical prescriptions which was written about 1200 B.C.; and the famous EBERS papyrus, which is devoted to medical matters, is reckoned to date from about the year 1550 B.C.”
“Conning for an hour in the British Museum the pages of works devoted to extinct, half-extinct, obscured, and ruined families appertaining to the quarter of England in which he proposed to settle, he considered that d'Urberville looked and sounded as well as any of them: and d'Urberville accordingly was annexed to his own name for himself and his heirs eternally.”
“Even the British Museum does not include works on phallicism in its catalogue, and special permission has to be obtained to consult them.”
“Among the Harleian MSS. in the British Museum is a small volume written on parchment by Humphrey Wanley, which includes a copy of a curious inventory of vestments, plate, books, and other goods made in the time of John Rous, 1464.”
“The reference is no doubt to Mr. Joseph Planta, Assistant-Librarian of the British Museum 1773, Principal Librarian 1799-1827.”
“Just like the British Museum — which has bought fakes, duds, phonys, wasting millions in its time — most museums have spent fortunes on fraud.”
“He failed at the moment, but the collection was finally purchased and presented to the British Museum by a generous relative of his own, Lord Francis Egerton.”
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