Guilty pleasures

Since the 14th century, many book lovers have been born in Florence or its vicinity. The Renaissance was, since its early days, a book rush, especially one for rare, lost, unread, unknown, neglected volumes. The humanists of the Renaissance were avid book finder and collectors. The Florentine scholar Poggio Bracciolini (1380-1459) made some incredible findsContinue reading “Guilty pleasures”

The confession of a 15th-century curator of manuscripts

We generally know very little about the early physical life of medieval manuscripts. We know when texts were started and completed, we may even know where the book travelled, to whom it was donated, who sold it, etc, but to get really close to a particular moment in the volume’s history one has to beContinue reading “The confession of a 15th-century curator of manuscripts”

Bibliophile heroes turned villains and the Cottonian fire of 1731

We all know about the famous fire that destroyed parts of the Cottonian manuscript collection in 1731. The fire started at the Ashburnham House in Westminster on 23 October 1731. More than a hundred irreplaceable manuscripts were lost in the conflagration, with many others badly damaged, including one whose transcription almost cost me my eyesight.Continue reading “Bibliophile heroes turned villains and the Cottonian fire of 1731”