Source: Zimmermann, Heiko, ed. Aspects of E.M. Forster. 1 Mar. 2000 - 16 Nov. 2018. 16 Nov. 2018 <http://emforster.de/>.
The round reading room of the British Museum in London.
The information plate in front of the room says:
Many of the writers who spent time in the Reading Room used it as a setting for their novels. Max Beerbohm in Seven Men (1919) writes of the failed poet Enoch Soames who in 1897 sells his soul to the devil for the privilege of visiting the Room a hundred years hence in order to peruse the catalogues. David Lodge set much of his novel The British Museum is Falling Down (1965) in the Reading Room as did George Gissing in New Grub Street (1891).
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle refers to Sherlock Holmes' researches in the Reading Room and a later writer describes an imaginary meeting between Holmes and Karl Marx. E.M. Forster (1879-1970) writes in The Longest Journey (1907)
"Ansell was in his favourite haunt-the reading-room of the British Museum. In that book-encircled space he always could find peace. He loved to see the volumes rising tier above tier into the misty dome. He loved the chairs that glide so noiselessly, and the radiating desks, and the central area, where the catalogue shelves curve round the superinterdent's throne. There he knew that his life was not ignable."
Photographer: Frank Fischer
2001 © Frank Fischer[This is the printer-friendly version of a document at Aspects of E. M. Forster. Click here to return to the standard version at