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Thomas Grenville

(1755—1846) politician and book collector


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On his retirement from public office in 1807, Grenville devoted much of his time and money to collecting the books that he would leave to the British Museum 40 years later. In 1847, Panizzi wrote of this collection—extraordinary both for its size (some 16,000 works in 20,200 volumes) and its quality—that it had been ‘formed and preserved with the exquisite taste of an accomplished bibliographer’. It included important incunabula (among them editions of the Canterbury Tales printed by Caxton and by de Worde); abundant Italian and Spanish romances; and volumes on vellum, including the Gutenberg Bible and a Mainz Psalter (1457).

From The Oxford Companion to the Book in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Bibliography.


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