Page:Books Condemned to be Burnt - James Anson Farrer.djvu/10

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vi
Preface.

I am indebted to chance for having directed me to the interest of bookburning as an episode in the history of the worlds manners, the discursive allusions to it in the old numbers of

"Notes and Queries" hinting to me the desirability of a more systematic mode of treatment. To bibliographers and literary historians I conceived that such a work might prove of utility and interest, and possibly serve to others as an introduction and incentive to a branch of our literary history that is not without its fascination. But I must also own to a less unselfish motive, for I imagined that not without its reward of delight would be a temporary sojourn among the books which, for their boldness of utterance or unconventional opinions, were not only not received by the best literary society of their day, but were with ignominy expelled from it Nor was I wrong in my calculation.