1826 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Thomas Frognall Dibdin

Henry Crabb Robinson, 22 December 1826; Diary, Reminiscences, and Correspondence (1870; 1872) 2:43-44.



An interesting morning. By invitation from Dr. Dibdin, I went to Lord Spencer's, where were several other persons, and Dibdin exhibited to us his lordship's most curious books. I felt myself by no means qualified to appreciate the worth of such a collection. A very rich man cannot be reproached for spending thousands in bringing together the earliest printed copies of the Bible, of Homer, Virgil, Livy, &c. &c. Some of the copies are a most beautiful monument of the art of printing, as well as of paper-making. It is remarkable that the art arose at once to near perfection. At Dresden, we see the same immediate excellence in pottery. My attention was drawn to the famous Boccaccio, sold at the Roxburgh sale (in my presence) to the Duke of Marlborough, for 2,665, and, on the sale of the Duke's effects, purchased by Lord Spencer for (if I am not mistaken) for 915.