Stephen, Leslie: Hours in a Library.

Stephen, Leslie - Hours in a Library. Folio Society, 1991, 1st thus.

No one was more at home in a library than Leslie Stephen, father of Virginia Woolf editor of the Dictionary of National Biography and president of The London Library. Books were his friends, and in Hours in a Library he celebrates his great love for them. This collection of essays takes the reader on a journey through the best in the literature of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries - Scott, Charlotte Bronte, Carlyle, Hawthorne, Coleridge, Fielding, Wordsworth and the rest. Stephen wanted to discover the written word, and his approach is as intimate and humorous as if he were discussing a friend. The authors of the books on his shelves fascinated him and he could not wait to introduce them to other readers. Hours in a Library, says Dr Jonathan Steinberg in his introduction to this forgotten masterpiece, gives one the pleasure that comes from conversation with an exceptionally intelligent, witty and entertaining acquaintance. 'In a library,' Emerson once wrote, 'we are surrounded by many dear friends imprisoned by an enchanter.' Stephen sets them free to walk and talk in the ideal book-lovers' companion - an invaluable guide to the world's great writers and their work. (Folio Society). Three volume set comprising: Vol. 1: introduction, Defoe's Novels, Richardson's Novels, Pope as a Moralist, Sir Walter Scott, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Balzac's Novels, De Quincey, Sir Thomas Browne, Jonathan Edwards, Horace Walpole, 382pp inc. 11 portraits; Vol. 2: Dr Johnson's Writings, Crabbe, William Hazlitt, Disraeli's Novels, Massinger, Fielding's Novels, Cowper and Rousseau, The First Edinburgh Reviewers, Wordsworth's Ethics, Landor's Imaginary Conversations, Macaulay, 368pp inc. 12 portraits; Vol. 3: Charlotte Bronte, Charles Kingsley, Godwin and Shelley, Gray and his School, Sterne, Country Books, Geroge Eliot, Autobiography, Carlyle's Ethics, The State Trials, Coleridge, 352pp inc. 12 plates.

Each volume is 9" x 5ΒΌ", air-force-blue buckram, front board and spine blocked in black and gold with a conservative design, gold blocked spine lettering, hardbacks. Illustrated with contemporary portraits of the authors in the text.

Very slightly sunned spines; contents page of volume 3 creased heavily; otherwise fine; complete with fine slip-case.


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