The Cotton library fire, Oct. 23, 1731

The wee hours of this Thursday, October 23* will mark the 283rd anniversary of the disastrous Cotton library fire of 1731.

This is probably a questionable occasion to celebrate… but, (mostly) by coincidence, it’s also about time for me to begin promoting my book Cotton’s Library, which devotes most of two chapters to the fire and its aftermath.

So, I am pleased to share this cartoon I drew about the fire. You’ve got to have a laugh, eh?

Do feel free to share it or re-post it anywhere. At some point here I will probably post some additional notes about it at my art and design blog… for now, though, please enjoy “A Night in the Cotton Library.”

A comic about the 1731 Cotton library fire, by Matt Kuhns

* If you want to get technical, it was still October 22 in North America when the fire began… or, even more technically, when people noticed fire where it should not have been, though… oh, let’s face it: this way lies madness. In the spirit of Dr. Bentley and the Cotton library trustees, let’s just call it “close enough for government work.”

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