Synopses & Reviews
Excerpt from The Pentateuch of Printing: With a Chapter on Judges
The formation of the Library Association, in 1877, was another event which commanded Mr. Blades' warm sympathy. He was a Member of the Council of that body from the beginning, and a frequent attendant at the pleasant yearly Conferences held under its auspices in various parts of the country. His diary contains notes of some of these bibliographical expeditions, that to the Glasgow Meeting, in 1888, being recorded with special pleasure. He contrived on such visits to see all that was to be seen in the way of early printed books and libraries, and invariably came back refreshed in mind, and often weightier in baggage, from these congenial holidays. He occasionally read papers before the Association, one of his latest public appearances being at the London Meeting of the Association in 1889, when he read an interesting account of the Chained Library at Wimborne.
His love of books tempted him, in 1881, to a literary effort in a lighter vein than any he had hitherto adopted. The Enemies of Books is a dainty and entertaining defence of his favourites against their sworn enemies, human, insect, and elemental, and brought him into contact with many admirers whom his more serious works had not interested. This championship did not hinder the development of an almost romantic interest on the part of the author for the real book worm. Among the treasures of his library were usually to be seen one or more of these learned insects, browsing on the pages of an old magazine, or, as a special delicacy, being feasted on a morsel of fifteenth century printed matter. L - Iis attempts to rear them, however, were unsuccessful. As he con fessed once to the writer, it was one of the failures of his life
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