Imagine coming home on a fog-heavy evening to find a letter waiting for you on your desk. You’re almost sure of who it’s from and what it says. There’s been rumors and you believe them. So you engage in every distraction you can before bringing yourself to slice open the envelope and pull out the single piece of paper. You read the words. You bow your head. Tomorrow morning authorities are coming to confiscate all your books. You’ll never see them again. Your eyes run over your shelves, pausing on the spines of your favorite books. The titles alone invoke the power of the words within. How many times have you enjoyed letting those pages take you away? You’ll never see them again. The clerks and students of Duke Humphrey’s library
Terribly sorry about the rain, but there really wasn’t any way around it. Oxford in 1444 is a soggy mess—I SAID, IT’S A SOGGY MESS. COME CLOSER SO YOU CAN HEAR ME. Good. And try to look like you fit in, the locals are already staring. Well, don’t stare back. You’ll make it worse. Eyes on me until we’re ready to move. Okay. So like I said, it’s 1444. Henry the VI is on the throne, he’s just married Margaret of Anjou and it’s thought that this will bring a bit of peace between England and France. Of course it won’t, but no one knows that yet so don’t say anything. France and—my goodness, it’s really coming down. I can barely see across the courtyard.