I burned quite a few lampfuls of midnight oil last night and completed the rewriting of chapter 2. I will give it a final spit and polish tomorrow evening (I'm too sleepy tonight and I could easily miss some silly little errors) and then get it printed off. The first two chapters are about 21,000 words, or 98 pages with the way I have set my margins.)
I really appreciate all the comments, and the thoughts about finding agents at this time of year. I am sure that now is not the best time for approaching publishers, who do, I believe, wind down somewhat in the run-up to Christmas, but I think that things are different for agents, particularly the smaller operations (a view that I am sure I saw stated by Miss Snark recently). If publishers are less responsive then now might be a good time to catch agents with more time to read - and I reckon that Lord Alexander's Cipher; or, the Bridekirk Behemoth is perfect for reading in front of a roaring log fire while the tendrils of a London Particular or the icy blast of a Cotswolds blizzard blows past one's window.
At this stage I am going to limit myself to UK-based agents. I don't plan to post all the gory details of whom I have approached on Wenlock. If and when I do find an agent (or indeed a publisher) who will deal with me I shall tell you about it, but for now it will be a matter of waiting and hoping.