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This article is taken from PN Review 54, Volume 13 Number 4, March - April 1987.

A Letter to my Successor (II) Elisabeth Russell Taylor

It was about this time that I, and my assistants in the Museum and Library, and Professor Jardine and his small staff in the Proust Praxis office, realized that preparations for the centenary year, 1971, would need to be set in motion. It was three years hence, but there was a great deal to consider and co-ordinate. There would be the many internal events on our own premises: concerts, exhibitions, and a special commemorative issue of Proust Praxis. And there would be the external events to which we would be invited to contribute, or advise upon. Since we would wish to keep a measure of control over external programmes it was suggested that I make the job of liaison my particular responsibility.

We closed our premises to the public for a month in November 1968 in order to be free to plan our centenary year programme. It emerged that the Library staff, and the staff on Proust Praxis, were anxious that our role in scholarship should take precedence over our promotional function. Remembering the wishes of Lord Howard, I gave this matter serious thought and eventually found myself able to agree to this new emphasis because, and only because, for some time it had become evident that no matter what efforts we made we were not going to be able to create more than a small, if faithful, readership among the general public. The number had reached a plateau five years after we opened. This is not ...


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