1858 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Thomas Frognall Dibdin

Samuel Austin Allibone, in Critical Dictionary of English LIterature (1858-71; 1882) 1:498.



To Dr. Dibdin, more than to any other individual, is to be ascribed the prevalence of the spirit of Bibliomania which raged with such violence in England from about 1812 to 1824. Did our space permit, we might perhaps occupy a few pages not unprofitably in considering the tempting subject of book-collecting, its use and abuse, its advantages and disadvantages, its excess and its proper limits. It is a subject much misunderstood by the ignorant, and often misrepresented by the contracted. Informed by knowledge and restrained by discretion, it is certainly one of the most useful, as well as amiable, of enthusiasms.