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Carefully collected

24 November 2017

© National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

This picture of the library at Dunham Massey, in Cheshire, comes from The Country House Library by Mark Purcell, published for the National Trust by Yale (£45 (£40.50); 978-0-300-22740-6). It is a beautifully produced hardback that surveys libraries in country houses over the past 2000 years (the first ever, say the publishers), and challenges the view that such libraries were mostly for show: on the contrary, it says, they were assembled with care, and well used by many besides their owners, before public libraries existed

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