The Blavatnik Honresfield Library: saved for the nation was launched recently in the historic rooms of John Murray, where Byron first met Scott in 1815. It was the perfect place to celebrate FNL's purchase of the entire collection & donation of every item to c70 libraries across UK.
‘Lost and hidden manuscripts, a reclusive Victorian collector, and a twenty-first-century tycoon—these are the ingredients of a real-life adventure mystery. This commemorative book tells the extraordinary story of one of the most dramatic funding battles in the art world—fought successfully by a small charity to save one of the nation’s greatest literary treasure troves. Inside you will discover unseen manuscripts in the hands of Romantic-age geniuses—Jane Austen, Emily, Charlotte, and Anne Brontë, Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott, and Byron.’ Geordie Greig, Chairman, Friends of the National Libraries.
To launch it in the historic rooms of John Murray, publisher of many of the Honresfield authors, was extraordinary.
Many of the book's 27 authors were present plus members of FNL consortium that helped save the collection and many of our hugely generous funders as well as colleagues from some of the c70 institutions to which manuscripts and books were donated. John Murray (the 8th of that ilk) & Geordie Greig, FNL Chair spoke.
The book is a wonderful legacy for the campaign that saved the collection for the nation. Full of fascinating papers, it is richly illustrated it's a great read. Don't take our word for it - buy a copy for just £5 (a great gift for friends & family.....) from Blackwell's Rare Books and Hatchards.
John Murray (2nd left) and Geordie Greig (3rd lft) spoke.
Lord Byron and Sir Walter Scott meet at No.50 Albemarle Street, 1815.
Detail of the main room - with John Murray II looking on.
Images courtesy of the John Murray Collection.