Bibliomania: Or Book Madness; a Bibliographical Romance, in Six Parts
Cambridge University Press, Jun 24, 2010 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 802 pages
'A passion for possessing books, not so much to be instructed by them, as to gratify the eye by looking on them': thus is described 'bibliomania' by one of the characters of Thomas Frognall Dibdin (1776-1847), in this humorous novel first published in 1809. Introduced in English at the end of the eighteenth century, the term 'bibliomania' - or 'book-madness' - gained popularity with the publication of Dibdin's eponymous work. Using the entirely revised 1811 edition, this reissue brings back to life Dibdin's bibliomaniac characters and their playful dialogues on the nature and history of book collecting, and, most importantly, on the dangers of the 'fatal disease' that is bibliomania, its strange manifestations - such as the 'vellum', 'first edition', and 'unique copies' symptoms - and its possible cure. The author of numerous bibliographical works, Dibdin provides erudite comments and clarifications to his characters' dialogues in a parallel narrative of footnotes.
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