Thursday, September 17, 2015

An Iconography of Don Quixote

Henry Spencer Ashbee - An Iconography of Don Quixote (1895)

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An exhaustive bibliography of illustrations of Don Quixote from the start up to this book's publication.  Ashbee of course is better known for another bibliography - Index Librorum Prohibitorum, three volumes (in English, the title is a joke) documenting centuries of erotic publications.  He amassed a major collection of Cervantes which went to the British Museum who also had to accept, reluctantly, his erotica collection as well (though they found loopholes to destroy chunks of it).  The 1901 DNB notes that after An Iconography's publication  "his dilettanteism grew more and more refined, he was contemplating a most elaborate bibliography of every fragment of printed matter written in the French language by Englishmen."  Ah, somewhere in Borges' infinite library....  (The DNB also wouldn't use "erotica" but instead relied on the rare Greek-derived "kruptadia".)