Friday, February 07, 2014


Confrontation with a Customs Officer

Sheila M. Wagg, German at the University of Edinburgh, 1894-1994, an illustrated history to mark the centenary of the Department of German and the establishment of the teaching of European languages in the Faculty of Arts (Edinburgh: The University of Edinburgh, 1999), pp. 218-219:
The unforgettable Dominica Legge, a legend in her own lifetime, generated a special kind of happiness and bonhomie in her dealings with others. Although she looked formidable, she was in reality a kind and sensitive person who treated students and secretaries alike with respect and affection. Her two sisters had equally exotic names — Pompilia and Mireio; their brother had to be content with Harry. Many anecdotes have been told about her, and I am particularly fond of the story of her confrontation with a Customs Officer when she was carrying some books into the U.K. from a sojourn abroad. The officer, not well versed in Anglo-Norman, asked her if it was pornographic literature she was trying to bring into the country. Dominica drew herself up to her full height (which was considerable) and shrieked at him, 'Young man, have you ever heard of a pornographic book with footnotes?!'
Hat tip: Ian Jackson.

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