Remember when I said in my other post that I was the least lustful person I know? Well I lied; I am lustful. But I’m not like other twenty-something lustful people. I don’t lust after men. I lust after books.
My name is Sarah and I am a bibliophile.
Anyone who knows me will confirm that I have a superb talent for procrastination (it’s a good job I write quickly really, or I’d never get anything finished) and my new best thing to do, since half-giving-up Facebook, is peruse the auction houses for beautiful old books. Today, during one such procrastination session, I came across something so uttlerly ravishing that I can’t stop thinking about it. I feel all hot under the collar and I don’t think I’ll rest until I possess it. What I came across was this –>
“So what?” I hear you all moan, “you can buy a 20th Century edition of the Commedia from Amazon for half a peanut”. Tru dat. But does that Amazon edition (and, to be honest, I really should be discouraging you all from shopping from Amazon, since I work in a proper book SHOP) come complete with ONE HUNDRED illustrations by no other than SALVADOR DALI??? Nope, didn’t think so.
It’s a shame I don’t have a spare twelve grand to be honest, because this would look simply DIVINE (see what I did there?) on my bookcase.
But did you all know that little gems like this (OK, so maybe not the Dali illustrations…) can actually be found here in Leeds? In the Brotherton’s Special Collections catalogue, you can find TONNES of really old copies of Dante, ranging from the an edition of the Commedia, printed in 1484, complete with commentary from Christopher Landino (also, if you’re really into this sort of thing, the Landino in the John Rylands Library in Manchester has the full set of copper-plate engravings to go with it. And, for all you art-buffs out there, the plates are based on original etchings by none other than Signor Botticelli himself….), to numerous GORGEOUS manuscripts.
A lot of my UG and MA work was based on manuscripts and early print-editions of Dante and the French poem, Le Roman de la Rose, so this is hugely my bag. I therefore apologise if I’m getting a wee bit carried away with my excitement, but seriously, how often in your lifetime are you going to be able to touch a 600 year-old book?? I think you all owe it to Dante to go and check out these babies and, if you can, try and use them in your Dante essays. They are truly spectacular and deserve to be written about!