Colleagues and friends may already know of this but in last Sunday's Observer (a UK Sunday paper) Elvis Costello (!) recommends a book soon to be published - by Tom Plazza, called The Auburn Conference. A novel with Twain, Whitman, Douglass, Stowe, Melville and two fictional characters 'all imagined at an idealistic literary forum' [are there any others?], 'before an audience of scholars and petitioning factions with the intention of seeking a definition of America. Hilarity and tragedy ensue.' Sounds wild! Peter Messent (Emeritus Professor, University of Nottingham) Bargate House Oak Tree Court Tollerton Nottingham NG12 4HJ U.K. This message and any attachment are intended solely for the addressee and may contain confidential information. If you have received this message in error, please contact the sender and delete the email and attachment. Any views or opinions expressed by the author of this email do not necessarily reflect the views of the University of Nottingham. Email communications with the University of Nottingham may be monitored where permitted by law.