The agreeable eye

an eudæmonistarchives

without books

On the whole we may conclude that Casaubon had strained his narrow means in this one direction of expense. Pinched everywhere else, he spent all he could save on books. Book-buying was to him not the indulgence of a taste or a passion, it was the acquisition of tools. While mere bibliomania is insatiable, the books wanted for a given investigation are an assignable quantity. At the present day, when the book-trade is organised, a collection of classics, complete enough to work with, may be made in no long time. But at the period of which we write, when there were no advertisements, no booksellers’ catalogues, and hardly any booksellers (as distinct from printers), this was not possible. Your only means of knowing what new books were being published was to attend the half-yearly fair at Frankfort.

—Mark Pattison, Isaac Casaubon2
Oxford, 1892, p. 38.


ego hoc feci mm–MMXXIV · cc 2000–2024 M.F.C.