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This blog makes liberal use of AB's journals, letters, travel notes, and other sources.

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Sunday, 8 December 2013

Getting information

Wednesday, December 8th., Waterloo Road, Burslem.

Dawson and dentist yesterday morning. I have been spending time with Joseph Dawson this week acquiring stuff for "Clayhanger". I have made real progress in getting information from him. 

After dinner I went to the Grand Theatre, 9.15 p.m. I was profoundly struck by all sorts of things. In particular by the significance of clog-dancing, which had never occurred to me before. I saw a 'short study' for the Nation in this. Towards the end I came across Warwick Savage and walked home with him. this was a pity because I had got into an extraordinary vein of 'second sight'. I perceived whole chapters. Of all the stuff I made sufficient notes.

The Grand Theatre (Trinity Street/Foundry Street) opened on 22 August 1898, at a cost of £25,000: £5,000 for the site, and £20,000 for the building. The building was constructed from brick, with stone facings and ornaments. The ornamental frontage was built in Renaissance style with a dome surmounting the entrance, and verandah of iron and glass. The principal entrance was at the corner of Trinity Street and Foundry Street, with the upper circle and pit entrances in Trinity Street. The vestibule had marble columns and a floor laid with encaustic tiles, the walls tiled shoulder height. The auditorium had three tiers - dress circle with four rows of chairs; upper circle of seven rows; and the gallery with twelve rows and a promenade. The rear of the grand circle was in line with the front of the upper circle, and the gallery was supported on four iron columns. To the sides of the balconies were four boxes surmounted with domes. The theatre had a sliding roof, and was lit by electricity. The stage could be converted for use as a circus with the removal of the stage and orchestra pit. There were busts of Shakespeare and Goethe.

Additionally for December 8th., see 'Heavyweight literature' -

The Bradenham edition is handsome and imposing. It is too imposing. It is almost exactly the size of a volume of the Dictionary of National Biography. Why should a novel be as unwieldy as a work of reference? This book cannot be held in one hand for reading. It could not be read in bed without employing a system of cranes. Why do publishers insist on ignoring the important fact that a book exists to be read in comfort, not merely to be beheld with pride on a shelf?

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