By MICHAEL CAINES
The novel of oh dears, an aside, a deviation, a digression, a pulling-back of the camera:
It's not so long ago that the phone would ring with a request for a photocopied page or two from the archives. A colleague could be sensibly firm if such requests unluckily came through to him ("no, we're not a public service. Goodbye!"); if you diplomatically helped out, you were marked out as a soft touch. I remember sending somebody a copy of the TLS review of Casino Royale. He called the next day with a request for me to track down the reviews of every other novel by Ian Fleming . . . .