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Re: patron saints of book binding
- To: BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU
- Subject: Re: patron saints of book binding
- From: Peter Verheyen <pdverhey@DREAMSCAPE.COM>
- Date: Fri, 22 May 1998 08:43:54 -0400
- In-Reply-To: <199805221236.IAA25107@ultra1.dreamscape.com>
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- Sender: "Book_Arts-L: On the web at http://www.dreamscape.com/pdverhey" <BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU>
What about Richard de Bury, author of the Philobiblon.
>From the introduction of this work which I have online in the "Links"
section. (Yes, it's in the public domain). It's definitely worth a read.
Dominus Ricardus de Bury migravit ad Dominum.
The Bishop as Booklover. According to the concluding note, the Philobiblon
was completed on the bishop's fifty-eighth birthday, the 24th of January,
1345, so that even though weakened by illness, Richard must have been
actively engaged in his literary efforts to the very end of his generous
and noble life. His enthusiastic devoted biographer Chambre gives a
vivid account of the bishop's bookloving propensities, supplementary to
what can be gathered from the Philobiblon itself. Iste summe delectabatur
in multitudine librorum; he had more books, as was commonly reported, than
all the other English bishops put together. He had a separate library in
each of his residences, and wherever he was residing, so many books lay
about his bed-chamber, that it was hardly possible to stand or move
without treading upon them. All the time he could spare from business was
devoted either to religious offices or to his books. Every day while at
table he would have a book read to him, unless some special guest were
present, and afterwards would engage in discussion on the subject of the
reading. The haughty Anthony Bec delighted in the appendages of
royalty--to be addressed by nobles kneeling, and to be waited on in his
presence-chamber and at his table by Knights bare-headed and standing; but
De Bury loved to surround himself with learned scholars. Among these were
such men as Thomas Bradwardine, afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury, and
author of the De Causa Dei; Richard Fitzralph, afterwards Archbishop of
Armagh, and famous for his hostility to the mendicant orders; Walter
Burley, who dedicated to him a translation of the Politics of Aristototle
made at his suggestion; John Mauduit, the astronomer; Robert Holkot,
author of many books; Richard de Kilvington; Richard Benworth, afterwards
Bishop of London; and Walter Seagrave, who became Dean of Chichester."
The Bishop's Books. In the Philobiblon, Richard de Bury frankly and
clearly describes his means and method of collecting books. Anyhow his
object was clearly not selfish. The treatise contains his rules for the
library of the new College at Oxford--Durham College (where Trinity
College now stands)--which he practically founded, though his successor,
Bishop Hatfield, carried the scheme into effect. It is traditionally
reported that Richard's books were sent, in his lifetime or after his
death, to the house of the Durham Benedictines at Oxford, and there
remained until the dissolution of the College by Henry VIII., when they
were dispersed, some going into Duke Humphrey's (the University) library,
others to Balliol College, and the remainder passing into the hands of Dr.
George Owen, who purchased the site of the dissolved College.
Peter Verheyen, Listowner: Book_Arts-L