Education: Knick Knackatory

George Bernard Shaw called it his "magnificent library in Bloomsbury." Samuel Butler said the two places where he was happiest were home and the British Museum.

Many of the best brains of the last two centuries have felt indebted to the knowledge-lined old institution in London where the British have assembled what is probably the world's most comprehensive collection of information. There Gibbon and Macaulay did their historical research, Boswell perfected the technique of biography, Carlyle studied the intricacies of the French Revolution (and complained of "my museum headache"). Young Charles Dickens came to study, Darwin to solidify his ideas for On...

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