This week I paid a visit to the British Library, and while waiting for the books I had ordered to arrive I visited their Enduring War: Grief, Grit and Humour exhibition. Situated in The Folio Society Gallery this exhibition is on the first floor of the entrance hall of the library and free to visit.
As well as sound recordings there are photographs, posters, books, poetry, cartoons, letters and journals - the main emphasis is about how people coped and reacted to the First World War. Some of the letters are very moving.
Textile related items included a section on knitting for soldiers but also some cartoons, based on the Bayeux Tapestry. The cartoons were by Norman Rybot (1876-1961) - illustrations that used "grim humour" to record the starvation endured when besieged in Kut-al-Amara.
Original notebooks by Wilfred Owen and other poets are also on display.
I was also interested to learn that Laurence Binyon (1869-1943), whose lines that begin "They shall not grow old, as we who are left grow old ..." was an Assistant Keeper at the British Museum.
The exhibition, although quite small, continues until 12 October, and if you visited after 3 October you could always combine it with a trip to their new exhibition on Gothic Literature (fee applies for this exhibition), as well as their permanent gallery of "treasures" (free).
There is also a cafe and a fabulous bookshop - just the place for some early Christmas shopping. The library is situated very close to St Pancras Station.
For more information - www.bl.uk