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Prejudices, of course, are just what a reviewer ought not to have, least of all the kind of reviewer I am. For I am a hack. The term is commonly used in a derogatory sense, though I see nothing in it to be ashamed of. Its definition allows the compiler of Chambers's Dictionary to have one of his little jokes—“n. Hackwork, literary drudgery for which a person is hired by a publisher, as making dictionaries, etc.”
From whichever point of view we consider it, Edwards's Memoirs of Libraries is a remarkable work. Its two volumes provide a total of two thousand pages of text It is at…
From whichever point of view we consider it, Edwards's Memoirs of Libraries is a remarkable work. Its two volumes provide a total of two thousand pages of text It is at once a history of libraries—and a history on a world scale—and a manual of library administration. It can, of course, be criticised on that score. Would it not have been better to have issued the history separately, in two still sizeable volumes, and to have presented the practical manual as a separate work? As published by Trubner in 1859 the manual occupies the second half of the second volume which itself consists of rather more than 1,100 pages. But to Edwards the history and the administration were by no means so clearly divisible. The practical chapter on book‐binding, for example, approaches the subject historically; prints a small selection of Roger Payne's bills; and is illustrated, inter alia, with lithographs of sixteenth century bindings.