The Country House Library by Mark Purcell published for National Trust by Yale University Press is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated and warm literary trip a book-lover can starts to do thanks to the writer, who previously worked as Libraries Curator to the National Trust from 1999 to 2015: in this book mr.Purcell will focus his attention on the most beautiful Irish, British country-house libraries.
Mr. Purcell visited the most beautiful estates, with their stunning libraries, plenty as says the author "Of chairs, sofas, globes, bookcases." After all, what is a library if not a gracious room where there are our favorite books?
These libraries not only contain a large and remarkable amount of important old books, but they made the history of their owners as well, in particular when collecting books, when the creation of a beautiful library where to get lost became relevant: when did it happened? When print was born and english and Irish, voracious readers, developed a visceral passion for reading books of a lot of diversified topics.
If a library is so remarkable, you will think that it is also a place pretty estimated. No: completely different story. Libraries have never been in grade to emerge from the profundity of anonymity, although they tell, intrinsically tell, character, passions of their owner defining his character thanks to the books he read.
Starting from the most remote past, Egyptians, Romans, passing through more modern times, Tudor; then let's remember the advent of press, Eighteen Century, collecting, the arrival of a lot of diversified books, 'till at this new century, these stories of country-house libraries will conquer you.
Some of these libraries had or still have a curator, other have been sold and books dispersed or just they found a new owner in grade to appreciate them: some of these libraries sometimes were opened for being visited by tourists.
But, we will also see that with the time this perception changed and that country-house ibraries were also important because thanks to them the owner established important relationship with his neighbors.
Sharing culture means connections and unity.
And then public libraries...
This one is the best book about books that I have ever read. Not only it speaks about books, but about history, private and public life of owners of country-house libraries, so a specific topic that I didn't know, keeping the narration captivating and intriguing.
A tome, this one, that I warmly suggest to everyone, because precious, plenty of informations, and, if you are a book-lover, undoubtedly a book that you can't leave alone.
I thank Yale University Press for the physical copy of this book.
Anna Maria Polidori