The clue is in the title: ownership, fashion and society reflected in a Kent private library
Stevens, V. 2021. The clue is in the title: ownership, fashion and society reflected in a Kent private library.
The country house library as a concept is so beguiling: it implies elegant space, gentle academia, wide and expansive interests and an excess of research time. Beneath the titles, however, there lies a strong reflection of wider social trends, hints of personal passions and the changing reading tastes of generations of usually the same family.
One such library is that compiled by successive members of the Hammons of St Alban’s Court, Nonington, in the east of the county of Kent. Here was amassed a small treasure trove of early modern titles which provide clues to the lives of the Hammonds, and tell stories far beyond those within the pages of texts. This short paper will look at the history of the Hammond family through its reading choices as laid out in the detailed inventory of the library, which was used as the basis for the subsequent sale and dissemination of the collection in the twentieth century.
Based on ongoing MA research, the presentation will look at the inventory as a catalogue of 250 years of book collecting by an enlightened family, linking their histories through their personal reading, professional and academic interests with wider social and economic trends which affected people of their class status and position.
|Keywords||Libraries; Aldine Press; Book collecting; Book collections|
|Conference||MEMS Festival 2021|
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|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||24 Jun 2021|
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