The shelves of Horace Walpole’s Library at Strawberry Hill, emptied in the great sale of 1842, have recently been filled with the loan of books from the library of Aske Hall, North Yorkshire. To celebrate this event we are holding a study day on the Country House Library. Particular themes of the study day are the evolution of country house libraries, and especially how the libraries of art collectors such as Walpole support and enrich our understanding of their broader collections. Country house libraries may develop over generations of owners, but they may also strongly reflect the personality and interests of one collector, whether as bibliophile or in the broader history of collections of works of art. We will be looking not only at Walpole, but at a broad range of other collectors and their collections to show how much these libraries can reveal. Papers will be given by Megan Aldrich, Stephen Clarke, Stephen Lloyd, Giles Mandelbrote, David Pearson, Mark Purcell, and Claire Reed, and will address the collections at Knowsley (the 13th Earl of Derby was the greatest single buyer at the Strawberry Hill Sale), at Osterley and at Blickling; other Gothic libraries (particularly Stowe); bookbinding history; and Walpole’s own library. Mark Purcell, whose book on the Country House library is forthcoming, will deliver the keynote paper.
Refreshments including a light lunch will be provided.
This event is kindly sponsored by the Delmas Foundation