The Dark Knight rises in a London library

On Tuesday, I was in the Gotham City Library, today I’m sitting in a vaulted Tudor room in Hadleigh trying to write a book about British Magazine Design. But it’s so distracting … there’s a cupboard door in the wall that I can open and admire the wattle & daub (one of those great terms that sticks to you like glue from history lessons). Hadleigh is where 5 of the men who translated the King James Bible came from, so an exhibition in the church of St Mary tells me, and I’m hoping for inspiration. Yesterday, the town beat off an attempted invasion by Tesco (been trying to destroy this ancient Suffolk wool town for 16 years apparently). In terms of seeing people off, the town has form – Guthrum, King of the Danes, is said to be buried in the grounds of St Mary’s, since being defeated  by King Alfred in the C9th.

And if Gotham City sounds far fetched, just look at these covers from 1904 and 1927 – don’t they put the much later Bat-man artwork  to shame:


Penny dreadful – Spring-Heeled Jack

Tatler cover from summer 1927

The reason I was in Gotham City was for a meeting of contributors to the Cambridge History of the Book in Britain (vol 7) at the University of London. It turned out the place was being used as a location for the next Batman film – The Dark Knight Rises – due out in 2012. Take a look the libraries page and you’ll see why. Apparently, an ‘evil ball’ had been seen in the building, some very strange plants, as well as Christian Bale.

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