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Title: A monument of the love of letters : the Right Honourable Thomas Grenville and his library
Author: Limper-Herz, Karen
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2012
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In 1846 The Right Honourable Thomas Grenville (1755-1846), bibliophile and politician, bequeathed to the British Museum Library one of the largest collections it was ever to receive. The collection of over 20,000 printed books and over 60 manuscripts was formed in the late eighteenth and the first half of the nineteenth century and is still widely regarded as one of the greatest collections ever formed by a private individual in this country. This thesis is the first detailed study of Thomas Grenville as a man and a collector, and it is the first to take the library itself, and especially the bookbindings within it, as the basis of its investigation. Due to a lack of secondary sources, this work is primarily based on a study of the books themselves, on Grenville's correspondence with his contemporaries, on newspaper reports, and on archival records to explore Thomas Grenville's life and his book collecting in the context of political and social life in the second half of the eighteenth and the first half of the nineteenth century. Two chapters on the bookbindings in the Grenville Collection form the centre of this study. They focus on bindings produced for Grenville by London's foremost binders and on his interest in the visible signs of the provenance of many of his bindings. They are supported by chapters on Grenville's life and political career, his collecting practices and relationships with fellow book collectors and bibliophiles as well as with the book trade, the development and use of his library, and the collector's relationship with the British Museum. Furthermore, this study explores the different reasons which led to the bequest of Thomas Grenville's library to the British Museum in 1846. Taken together, all chapters build a detailed and perhaps surprising picture of the man behind the Bibliotheca Grenvilliana
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available