One of the more notable misfortunes in the Cotton library’s extended catalog of them is the fire of 1731. Despite Britain having accepted the collection as a national trust three decades earlier, its various official and semi-official guardians presided over its near immolation. The losses and damage that resulted are tragic, and the greater losses that might easily have occurred are appalling.
That said, the whole affair also has a recurring element of farce.
As a result, when I had the idea of a comic strip to promote my book, I quickly settled on the 1731 fire (sadly, it’s necessary to specify because it was not the only one). I hope the following—nearly all of which is based on actual events—may provide a laugh or two. (Feel free to copy and distribute the comic as and where you like!)