Of possible interest for those seeking a Christmas present for a librarian-scholar, the just published The Country House Library from Yale University Press. Sumptuously illustrated and weighing in at 350 pages, this scholarly book surveys the entire history of the country house library in the British Isles from the Roman era to today. The author is deputy director of Cambridge University Library, and was the former libraries curator to the National Trust. His findings push the history of such libraries much further back that the current consensus of ‘the late 17th century’, according to a Country Life magazine review.

By the way, ignore the Amazon UK and USA reviews. The dates (2000 and 2015) indicate the reviews refer to another book entirely. They are obviously an artefact of Amazon’s very annoying auto-pinning of old reviews to new books with the same or similar title. The same happens on pages for fine critical print editions of public domain books (e.g. Wells’s The Time Machine), which are adorned with miffed reviews of shovelware OCR ebooks and basic reprints. Authors and publishers really should be complaining vigorously to Amazon about this highly misleading practice.