Friday, August 19, 2011

Bad Bankers, c. 1879

From Olivia Laing's new book, To the River, about a walk up the Ouse. This passage describes Kenneth Grahame's early working life, in the Bank of England, c. 1879:
“the Bank was, by all accounts an exceedingly eccentric place…it wasn’t unusual to come across a clerk in the lavatory butchering the carcass of a sheep bought wholesale in the local market. The lavatories were also used for dogfights, which were so much a part of Bank culture that some of the rougher clerks kept fighting dogs chained in readiness at their desks” (65).

One might write a nostalgic book about rodents in canoes after such an adventure. I'm glad Wind in the Willows emerged from this nonsense. Don't get me started on the bankers of 2011...

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