Books and Bookmen, by Andrew Lang; 1886; George J. Coombes, New York.
Best known for his work collecting folk and fairy tales, this is the Scottish writer Andrew Lang’s treatise on all things bookish. As he states in the preface, the work is “the swan-song of a book-hunter. The author does not book-hunt any more: he leaves the sport to others, and with catalogues he lights a humble cigarette”. The topics Lang reflects upon are wide-ranging: from “Literary Forgeries” to the “Bookmen at Rome”; from “Japanese Bogie-Books” to “Bibliomania in France”. This is a book for bibliophiles written by a bibliophile.
An 1897 review in The Spectator called it an
amusing collection of essays, dealing chiefly with the love of books as books, or rather as things, a different passion, indeed, from the love of literature. They have a good deal less to do with each other than the body with the soul, or a man’s coat with his character. And yet it is a fact that one does not get on quite well without the other. … There is no doubt that many people, besides those who have a right to call themselves book-lovers, will find a great deal of amusement and information in Mr. Lang’s agreeable book.
|Housed at: Internet Archive | From: California Digital Library|
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