'The Earlier History of English Bookselling,'
'Printers' Marks,' etc.
[Originally published in 1895]
The Book-hunter in London' is put forth as a contribution to the fascinating history of book-collecting in the metropolis; it does not pretend to be a complete record of a far-reaching subject, which a dozen volumes would not exhaust; the present work, however, is the first attempt to deal with it in anything like a comprehensive manner, but of how far or in what degree this attempt is successful the reader himself must decide.
The task itself has been an exceedingly pleasant one to the author, and it only remains for him to thank, collectively, the large number of friends and acquaintances who have so cordially favoured him with advice and information on so many points. In only a couple of quite unimportant instances has he experienced anything approaching churlishness. The geniality and courtesy of the book-collector are proverbial, but specimens of a different type are evidently to be found here and there.
As regards the chapter on Modern Collectors, the author's object has been to deal with a representative selection of the bibliophiles of to-day. To aim at anything like completeness in this section of the book would be highly undesirable, having regard to a proportionate representation of the subject as a whole. Completeness, moreover, would be an impossibility, even in a volume devoted entirely to modern men.
The greatest possible care has been taken to prevent inaccuracy of any kind, but whilst freedom from error is a consummation which every author desires, it is also one of which few can boast. The reader will be doing the author a favour by informing him of any mistake which may be detected in the following pages. An omission in the account of Stewart, the founder of Puttick's, may be here made good: he had the privilege of selling David Garrick's choice library in 1823. The author regrets to learn that Purcell, a very intelligent bookseller, died some months ago.
'The Book-hunter in London' is the outcome not only of material which has been accumulating for many years past, from published and unpublished sources, but also of a long and pleasant intercourse with the leading book-collectors and booksellers in London, not to mention a vigorous and constant prosecution of one of the most pleasant and instructive of hobbies. The author has freely availed himself of the information in the works of Dibdin, Nichols, and other writers on the subject, but their statements have been verified whenever possible, and acknowledgements have been made in the proper places to the authorities laid under contribution.
Copyright © D. J.McAdam· All Rights Reserved