An Epiphany at the British Museum
Edmund Gosse, son of the famous naturalist Philip Henry Gosse, had worked at the British Museum since he was 17. His father’s friend Charles Kingsley had helped secure him the post of Junior Assistant in the Department of Printed Books. For someone with literary ambitions, this must have seemed an attractive position but it was, in fact, a clerical treadmill. With the other Juniors, his task was simply to write out the seemingly endless stream of revised entries prepared by his seniors for the catalogue of what was then the largest library in the world.