RARE BOOKS AND ROYAL COLLECTORS by Maurice L. Ettinghausen

RARE BOOKS AND ROYAL COLLECTORS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

At the very outset Dr. Ettinghausen, now in his eighties, says that he will permit nothing of a scandalous or disagreeable nature to intrude in these memoirs of his life an an antiquarian bookseller and the ""It was indeed pleasant,"" so often used or paraphrased, sets the tone. It is one also of gratitude to the profession which permitted him ""as a simple commoner, to have been made a friend of a king and to have been on such amicable terms with queens, princesses and dukes, with ambassadors, with millionaires and with men of letters."" These included King Manuel of Portugal, the Duke of Windsor, Henry Edward Huntington, Sacha Guitry (the best private collector in France), Morgan, etc. In Germany he first specialized in rare manuscripts and books determining profession-avocation and his reminiscence is a succession of footnote-- anecdotes to his notable discoveries and sales--i.e. the Fouquet he bought as a favor from a young man pressed for cash; the library of Ronsard first editions hidden behind a wall; the sale of Napoleon's unpublished letters to Marie-Louise (who could not read them); etc. ""A life-enhancing profession"" and its serene serendipity is quickly very quietly, sustained throughout this courteous retrospective.

Pub Date: Sept. 29th, 1966
Publisher: Simon & Schuster