Thursday, 30 September 2010

Chapters From A Booksellers Life: Part 2

If you wish to read Part 1 of Chapters From a Booksellers Life Click Here.
This was written by A.L. Humphreys the head of Hatchards the Piccadilly bookshop in 1924 for John O'London's Weekly.

Cecil Rhodes and His Library.

After a few days Mr. Rhodes came again, as he had said he would like to hear how the suggestion had shaped itself in my mind. I did not bother him with tiresome details, nor did I ask him a lot of questions, but I discussed with him, the broad lines upon which the matter might proceed. I remember that upon this occasion he told me incidentally that the "Thoughts of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius" was a specially favourite book of his, and I boldly said it was mine also. He spoke also on that occasion, and many times afterwards, of Van Rieback, the old Dutch governor whose statue he placed on the Quay at Cape Town, and a panel commemorative of him in his house.
The work got well in hand, and I had a large body of men, all first-class scholars - and most of them who were glad enough to co-operate in such a fine scheme. Each author was translated, revised, the MS. typewritten on quarto paper, and then fully indexed and bound in levant morocco of an enduring quality. Mr. Rhodes supplemented his original instructions from time to time, and when the work had only proceeded a little, he decided that although he preferred for his own reading to have everything in English, he thought for the sake of his visitors from England who came to stay with him at Groote Schurr, that he would add to his collection all the original authorities. I therefore obtained fine copies of the well-known sets of the texts of the classics issued by Didot, Lemaire, Panckoucke, Nisard, and others.

Part 3.