'Growing up in Lyndhurst after the First World War, R.L. Wild regularly read aloud to his marginally literate grandmother and his completely illiterate grandfather - and it was his grandparents who selected the books... "I shall never understand how this choice was made. Until I started reading to them they had no more knowledge of English literature than a Malay Aborigine... I suppose it was their very lack of knowledge that made the choice, from "Quo Vadis" at eight, Rider Haggard's "She" at nine. By the time I was twelve they had come to know, intimately, a list of authors ranging from Shakespeare to D.H. Lawrence. All was grist to the mill (including Elinor Glyn). The classics, poetry, essays, belles lettres. We took them all in MY stride. At times we stumbled on gems that guided us to further riches. I well remember the Saturday night they brought home "The Essays of Elia". For months afterwards we used it as our roadmap...".'