SIR ROBERT COTTON
Well, none of you even had a guess as to who was the famous bibliophile who topped his bookcases with busts of Roman emperors. It was Sir Robert Cotton, whose collections became the nucleus of the British Library. Cotton assembled his library in the 1550-1650 time period, and accumulated a magnificent manuscript collection, including the original Beowulf manuscript. Cotton was also a numismatist, and some of his coins are now in the British Museum.
Much information about Cotton appears in Nicholas Basbane's book, "A Gentle Madness : Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books", a volume I've read and know I
have, but just can't seem to put my hands on at the moment. Cotton would have had it neatly filed under "Vespatian", shelf 4…" Here are a couple useful links to The
Wayne Homren, Editor
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