The National Trust looks after almost half a million books and manuscripts held in libraries across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. This beautifully illustrated volume brings together a selection of 100 rare and fascinating examples spanning the 8th to the 21st centuries.
100 Books from the Libraries of the National Trust includes illuminated medieval manuscripts; the Trust’s oldest atlas, with maps of the ancient world; a volume from Henry VIII’s library; a book inscribed in blood; an Arabic manuscript on horsemanship; a very early book on swimming; the largest volume of botanical drawings ever produced; marches by Joseph Haydn; a library of miniature children’s books; Dame Ellen Terry’s annotated working copy of Shakespeare’s Macbeth; the first book ever printed in Antarctica; Virginia Woolf’s handwritten manuscript for her novel Orlando; and John Lennon’s treasured childhood copy of Richmal Crompton’s William the Gangster.
Chosen by National Trust curators from collections at more than 160 properties, the featured books are arranged chronologically, each accompanied by beautiful photography and an illuminating, easy-to-read caption. The book concludes with a handy glossary of terms and a gazetteer of important National Trust libraries.
Yvonne Lewis is Assistant National Curator for Libraries at the National Trust. She specialises in library history and architecture, the reading experience, practical book-production techniques and book ownership from the medieval to modern periods, with particular expertise in the 16th to 18th centuries. She has published and lectured on various aspects of library history and provenance and is a council member of the Bibliographical Society.
Tim Pye is National Curator for Libraries at the National Trust. He is interested in all aspects of the history of books, specialising in 18th-century British book ownership and literature. He writes and gives talks on the history of book collecting and has curated major exhibitions on the Gothic and William Shakespeare. He has previously worked at the British Library, Cambridge University Library and Lambeth Palace Library.
Nicola Thwaite is Assistant National Curator for Libraries at the National Trust. She has a particular interest in the cataloguing of rare books and special collections, including provenance research. She was previously Head of Rare Books at Cambridge University Library, where she curated several exhibitions, and has also worked at the Fitzwilliam Museum (Founder’s Library) and Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics Library, Cambridge.
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