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Book Details


[CLARKE (William)]. Repertorium Bibliographicum; or, Some Account of the Most Celebrated British Libraries.1819

London: William Clarke, First edition, small 4to (235 x 145 mm), [vi], [16], vii-xlviii, [2], 138, 133*-138*, 139-454, 449*-454*, 455-672, [2]pp., engraved frontispiece and 9 engraved portraits (lightly foxed), 2 woodcuts in the text, cont. calf, neatly rebacked, spine gilt, morocco title label, edges marbled, a nice copy. A survey of the principal public and private libraries in England, listing highlights of the collections and concluding with brief accounts of 30 important English book auctions from the 17th century onwards. William Beckford assisted in the compilation of this work, particularly in the description of his own library at Fonthill. Bound in between pages vi and vii, is an 8-leaf pamphlet attributed to William Beckford: "A Dialogue in the Shades, between William Caxton, Fodius, a bibliomaniac, and William Wynken, Clerk, a descendant of Wynken de Worde: to which is added, the Story of Dean Honywood's Grubs. [In verse.] With explanatory notes, by W. W." [With: "A Ballad entitled Rare Doings at Roxburghe-Hall."], [By William Clarke.] Printed by J. F. Dove, [1819]. Claude Cox, in his introduction to the 1985 reprint, identifies the three characters in the engraving at the head of the title as William Beckford, William Clarke (bookseller), and William Caxton. The 'Dialogue' is a witty and well-versed satire on book collecting of the time. Cox regards the 'Ballad' as being "more straightforward, but not less skilful. The story of the battle between the Earl Spencer and the Marquis of Blandford for the Valdarfer Boccaccio at the Roxburghe sale". Provenance: Charles W. G. Howard (bookplate); Professor Birrell (signed in pencil with small neat stamp on title).

Stock #28185

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