Beginning with new evidence that cites the presence of books in Roman villas and concluding with present day vicissitudes of collecting, this generously illustrated book presents a complete survey of British and Irish country house libraries. Replete with engaging anecdotes about owners and librarians, the book features fascinating information on acquisition bordering on obsession, the process of designing library architecture, and the care (and neglect) of collections.
Nobody photographs the splendid and intimate cathedrals of knowledge as beautifully as Candida Hofer. This superbly produced volume contains Hofer's famously ascetic images of the Escorial in Spain, the Whitney Museum and the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York, Villa Medici in Rome and the Hamburg University Library, among others. Umberto Eco contributes an essay on libraries.