2. 15 April 1995 (Ironside)

Dear John,


   Thanks for your affable letter. I've always had a soft spot for brother Edmund, for the very unscientific reason that he and I share a birthday. I'm sorry his poor little child was 'base-born'. But he had a grand funeral with a tolling of ye great bell in ye forenoon; no doubt his affluent brother paid the extra expenses. Edmund was also the name of the Shakespeare'sbête noire though, that scoundrelly expropriator of Asbies, Edmund Lambert. Perhaps he was remembered in Lear. But Ironside is historical, so there wasn't much choice.

   I much agree with you about that speech from Edricus; it was also the source I chose to quote from when I was given a well-paid page of the Sunday Times by a benevolent Murdoch (or perhaps just one desperate for copy, in Fortress Wapping) to make the case with in 1986. But such subjective criteria aren't much in favour with Academia, unless of course they coincide with current editorial opinion, in which case they are immediately engraved on tablets of stone and published by University Presses.

   OK, I'll try my hand at Vol. ii (including Daniel); thanks for your kind and encouraging comments. May the best of good fortune attend your own enterprises and endeavours.

   Best regards

   Yours Eric