DescriptionAbout the Book
The Love of Books : The Philobiblon of Richard de Bury / translated into English by E. C. Thomas
The book was first printed at Cologne in 1473, at Spires in 1483, and at Paris in 1500. The first English edition appeared in 1598-9, edited by Thomas James, Bodley's first librarian. Other editions appeared in Germany in 1610, 1614, 1674 and 1703; at Paris in 1856; at Albany in 1861. The texts were, with the exception of those issued in 1483 and 1599, based on the 1473 edition; though the French edition and translation of 1856, prepared by M. Cocheris, claimed to be a critical version, it left the text untouched, and merely gave the various readings of the three Paris manuscripts at the foot of the pages; these readings are moreover badly chosen, and the faults of the version are further to be referred to the use of the ill- printed 1703 edition as copy.
In 1832 there appeared an anonymous English translation, now known to have been by J. B. Inglis; it followed the edition of 1473, with all its errors and inaccuracies.
In the Philobiblon, Richard de Bury frankly and clearly describes his means and method of collecting books. Anyhow his object was clearly not selfish. The treatise contains his rules for the library of the new College at Oxford--Durham College (where Trinity College now stands)--which he practically founded, though his successor, Bishop Hatfield, carried the scheme into effect. It is traditionally reported that Richard's books were sent, in his lifetime or after his death, to the house of the Durham Benedictines at Oxford, and there remained until the dissolution of the College by Henry VIII., when they were dispersed, some going into Duke Humphrey's (the University) library, others to Balliol College, and the remainder passing into the hands of Dr. George Owen, who purchased the site of the dissolved College
About the Author
Richard de Bury
Son of Sir Richard Aungerville, born at Bury St. Edmunds, studied at Oxford, and was a Benedictine monk, became tutor to Edward III. when Prince of Wales, and Bishop of Durham, and held many offices of State. He was a patron of learning, and one of the first English collectors of books, and he wrote his work, Philobiblon, in praise of books, and founded a library at Durham.