Characters who are Librarians, and Recommendation request

minnow at minnow at
Wed Jan 12 18:11:46 EST 2005

Ages ago a plea was uttered:

>I'm looking for Librarians as characters in fiction. Who do you know who is?

The girl Psmith married in *Leave It To Psmith* was being the librarian, I
think, unless she's a secretary for Lord Emsworth, but I think The
Efficient Baxter is still being that at that point.  Several girls in
various Wodehouse books are supposed to be cataloguing the Emsworth
library, as far as I remember.  And there's someone cataloguing the library
in Sayers' *Busman's Honeymoon*, too: Matthew Wimsey?

Isn't there a librarian in James Branch Cabell's *The Silver Stallion*?
And there ought to be one in *Titus Groan*, but I haven't read it in   ....
um years and now can't find my copy.

J. P Martin's *Uncle Cleans Up* has the librarian Will Shudder.  (That
library has a lake in the middle, and the librarian travels by boat.)

There's another blind librarian in Gene Wolfe's *Book of the New Sun*; he
too is an homage to Borges, I think.

Diane Duane's *So You Want To Be A Wizard* has a splendidly understanding
librarian, Mrs. Lesser, operating a sanctuary in the opening sequence.

Grace Grantly in the Angela Thirkell books is a librarian, for at least one
of them (the one she doesn't get proposed to by Eric Swan in, probably
*Happy Returns*), and Susan Dean is another, in a different book whose
title escapes me, or even in two or three of them.

Hazel Holt (Tom Holt's mother) wrote a detective book called *The Cruellest
Month* set in the Bodleian Library; the victim was a librarian, and the
semi-hero is a librarian, and many of the other characters-in-passing are
librarians -- as one might expect given the setting.

I don't know whether it had a different title in America, but I think not,
because it is advertised with the same title in other books of hers that
*are* American editions.  Came out in 1991, paperback 1993.

Moving neatly to another plea: Melissa, if there is any of Hazel Holt's
work in your local library, it's fun, and Jacob might enjoy it.  There are
at least seven books (that's all I have found so far, so there may be more,
since the most recent I have was published in 1996 and I know she's still
alive).  Light detective.  Some seem to have different titles in America
and England.

If he likes Heyer he might enjoy Edith Layton's work: more sex than Heyer,
but not vast scads of it, and the same sort of light touch.  (ObDWJ, she
enjoyed the couple of Laytons that came her way last year.)  EL's still
writing; I think her most recent book is out Real Soon Now, if it hasn't
just arrived on the shelves, and some of her stuff ought to be in

How about Gerald Durrell, if he hasn't read them all already?  They might
still be available.

Good luck.


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