Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Book-lover's Enchiridion

Alexander Ireland - The Book-lover's Enchiridion (1882)

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There's an entire sub-genre, though a small one, of anthologies praising books and the love of books.  Alexander Ireland was a Scottish journalist who wrote an early biography of Emerson and was an avid collector himself (including multiple editions of Anatomy of Melancholy).  This Enchiridion (a small handbook) was his most popular work (first issued under the pseudonym Philobiblos) and went through several editions in just a few years.  These older collections are always interesting for the half or completely forgotten writers included as well as unexpected excerpts from more familiar ones.