Grim truth that tarnishes Drumlanrig’s treasures
Your item on Kirkcudbright suggests a visit to nearby Drumlanrig Castle, with its “collection of paintings, furniture, silver, tapestries and porcelain” (An arty weekend in … Kirkcudbright, Dumfries and Galloway, 20 March). It’s a shame you didn’t also recommend a visit to the village of Wanlockhead to discover how the vast wealth to build and furnish Drumlanrig was generated – lead mining in terrible conditions, using children as young as seven.
• In your print edition, you squeezed a brief piece on the export ban on Coleridge’s 1792 poem against slavery (Report, 17 March) under a long article on Jane Austen’s 1798 letter on her nanny. Ironic, considering her family’s “complex entanglements with slavery”, discussed by Devoney Looser in a TLS article in May 2021.
Prof JK Cruickshank
• The most disconcerting T-shirt message (Letters, 21 March), seen at Glastonbury, was: “What if the Hokey Cokey really is what it’s all about.” I’m still haunted by the existential dilemma.
• On a tiny, wizened old woman slowly pushing along her shopping trolley in Leicester city centre, in glitter on a black T-shirt: “Not dead yet”. There’s hope for us all.
Birstall, West Yorkshire
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