Letter: In Brief

Sir: David Lister's piece (28 April) with its picture of the British Museum Reading Room "being restored using a technique pioneered by Lord Nelson" must have taken aback many an old tar like myself. The first reference to caulking appears in the Chester Plays (1500). The Shorter Oxford gives a 1552 reference to "Shyppes calked with towgh". It would have been more appropriate, as this is a reading room, to credit Ben Jonson, who alludes to "the windores" being "closed shut and calk'd".

GRAHAM BINNS

Chipping Norton,

Oxfordshire

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