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The joys of research

Posted by Richard Friday, August 27, 2010

I have just spent the best part of two days tracking down a piece of information that will, at best, form one paragraph in the forthcoming book.

I was originally alerted to the story by an online book, with minimal details. The search took me to New Zealand (by e-mail) with additional information, which turned out to be wrong in detail, but provided enough for me to find out what really happened.

That is why people take short-cuts. Unless you are prepared to spend years researching, for which no one is going to pay, you have to rely for much of the detail on the work of others. But that is also how the historical record gets so distorted.

There has to be an answer, but I'm not sure what it is. However, one thing for sure, the internet is turning out to be a partial remedy - the speed with which one can do research now is phenomenal.

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