1825 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Thomas Frognall Dibdin

Isaac D'Israeli, in Quarterly Review 32 (1825) 152.



Mr. Dibdin has now been for many years employed in composing and compiling some of the most expensive, thickest, largest, and heaviest octavos which have ever issued from the press. The volume which is now before us, not the last we presume, is certainly not the least of the Dibdin family. The Bibliotheca Spenceriana beats in breadth — the Bibliographical Tour in height, or, as he would say, in tallness, — but, for thickness and specific gravity, the intellectual, as well as material, pound weight, we will back The Library Companion against any of them. In all his long, many, and weighty labours, Mr. Dibdin seems to have had but one object in view, and that neither a very good-natured nor in him a very gracious one: his ambition has been to raise a laugh at the expense of a very innocent, but not very wise, body of men, — the collectors of scarce and black-letter books. Under the masque of a more than common zeal in their pursuit, and of affectionate regard for their persons, he has bestowed much complimentary sarcasm upon the one, and placed the other with great gravity in exceedingly ludicrous situations.