Italian Books in the Crewe Collection

The Crewe Collection comprises books in several different languages. The works in Italian, amounting to just 121 volumes, represent a tiny fraction of the total, but are nevertheless of great interest, and provide a reliable insight in the collecting habits of Richard Monckton Milnes (1809-1885). Although several books bear the bookplate of Richard’s son, Robert …

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Pierre Belon’s Book of Fish

This small printed book  - La nature & diuersité des poissons, avec leurs pourtraicts, representez au plus pres du naturel  -  bound in white vellum arrived at Trinity Library as part of the Crewe Collection in 2016.  It is full of illustrations of fish and animals of the sea including some fantastical creatures.  Printed in …

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Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass

One of the most important items held in the Crewe Collection in Trinity College Library is a first edition of Leaves of Grass, a collection of poetry by the American writer Walt Whitman (1819–1892). Whitman’s poems are a celebration of his philosophy of life and his love of nature, rich in both sexual and sensual …

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The Life and Adventures of Peter Wilkins, a Cornish Man

A previous blog celebrated the 300 year anniversary of the publication of Robinson Crusoe in 1719. From the outset, the popularity of Defoe's novel gave rise to a whole genre of new work known as 'Robinsonade'. This literature employed quintessential elements from Robinson Crusoe such as shipwrecked sailors, pragmatic realists and saved pilgrims. The first …

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Christopher Columbus and the Catalogue of Shipwrecked Books

A new book by Edward Wilson-Lee, Fellow of our neighbouring Sidney Sussex College and a regular reader in the Wren Library, tells the scarcely believable – and wholly true – story of Christopher Columbus’s bastard son Hernando, who sought to equal and surpass his father’s achievements by creating a universal library. Here we take a …

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From the Crewe Collection: Wilton Garden – ‘The greatest of English Renaissance gardens’

In the early 1630s Isaac de Caus created at Wilton near Salisbury a formal garden for the sophisticated, learned and hugely wealthy Philip Herbert, fourth earl of Pembroke. De Caus, a French Huguenot exile specialised in the design and construction of grottoes and waterworks and Lord Pembroke had been part of the embassy sent to …

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From the Crewe Collection: Works by Richard Francis Burton

The explorer Richard Francis Burton (1821-1890) was best known for his travels in Africa, Asia and the Americas.  His observations, which he recorded in numerous books and articles, provided a remarkable insight into the lives and habits of the people he encountered. There are five works by Burton in the Crewe collection, of which two …

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Spring Vegetables

A brief account of the Fruit, Herbs & Vegetables of Italy was written in 1614 by Giacomo Castelvetro (1546-1616) and dedicated to Lucy, Countess of Bedford. Trinity holds three manuscript versions, now digitised, and a copy of the gorgeous 1989 translation, The fruit, herbs & vegetables of Italy: an offering to Lucy, Countess of Bedford …

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