Dalrymple’s latest contribution to the New Criterion began with an unusual request in a second-hand bookstore:
I picked out a couple of slender volumes by Henley and Davies, and then asked the owner whether he knew of any other poets with wooden legs whose work I could buy. Not altogether surprisingly he said that he had never been asked that before; he might even have been a little nervous of me at first…I soothed the bookseller’s anxieties a little by pointing out that, if literature can be classified as black or white, heterosexual or homosexual, colonial or post-colonial, why could it not also be classified by the number of its author’s legs?
The good doctor pays no attention to the fact that Davies calls the fighting sparrows in his poem “angry birds.” I find that amusing.
I’m sure there is a “differently-abled” section in any progressive bookshop worth it’s salt.