Dot writes: I’m reading Allan Quatermain by Rider Haggard. It’s a story that opens tragically, with Quatermain burying his only son; famously, Haggard’s own son, to whom the book was dedicated, died four years after its publication. But our particular copy hints at another, smaller sad story about parents and children. It’s inscribed ‘To Robert, Christmas 1994, from Mum and Dad’. It’s a Wordsworth Classic, that is, an ultra-cheap edition. And it was sold on second-hand for 50p. So Robert didn’t even keep it.