A Beautiful Miniature Book
 
Ex Libris Books. Book Chats. Rare Books. Rarer People. Books with Unusual Associations. Book Plates. Ephemera. Curiosa. AirBnB Lyme Regis. Booklovers B & B. Sanctuary Bookshop and some Lyme Regis Accommodation
Book features, mostly drawn from our current stock. Books & people that have enchanted us in the past.. If the book story is interesting then our hope is to share the pleasure. Mail: books@sanctuarybookshop.co.uk. Tel: 01297-445815
 
 
The Sanctuary Bookshop Diary.
Our weekly Shop News...
 
 
A Man's Best Friend.
Some Books for your Bedside Table...
 
 
Book Chats on Discoveries.
 
 
Poem of the Month.
 
 
Julia's University Page.
Life at Bath Spa University...
 
 
Book Chats on Book Clubs.
Member's Page..
 
 
Book Cartoon of the Month.
 
 
Food for the Soul.
Books for the Bibliophage...
 
 
Some Recent Book News.
A Monthly Roundup......
 
 
Book Chats on Book Chains.
 
 
Book Chats on Retailing.
 
 
Poems of the Month for 2018.
 
 
Poems of the Month for 2017.
 
 
Rare Book of the Month.
 
 
Our Shop Diary Archives.
Past Monthly Entries...
 
 
Book Chats on Annotations.
 
 
Book Chats on Associations.
 
 
Book Chats on Authors.
 
 
Book Chats on Book Collecting.
 
 
Book Chats on Booklovers.
 
 
Book Chats on Bookmen.
 
 
Book Chats on Bookplates.
 
 
Book Chats on Condition.
 
 
Book Chats on Customers.
 
 
Book Chats on Dedications.
 
 
Book Chats on Eccentrics.
 
 
Book Chats on Ephemera.
 
 
Book Chats on Hermann Hesse.
 
 
Book Chats on Latin.
 
 
Book Chats on Loss.
 
 
Book Chats on Memorabilia.
 
 
Book Chats on Reading.
 
 
Book Chats on T E Lawrence.
 
 
Book Chats on Travellers.
 
 
To Contact Us.
 
 

Book Chats on Book Collecting.

 
"Ye Sette of Odd Volumes".
This page last updated here on July 6th 2020.

We have just been reading an 1817 edition of D. E. Macdonnel's:

A Dictionary of Quotations in most Frequent Use" (taken chiefly from the Latin and French but comprising many from the Greek, Spanish & Italian languages; Translated into English).
The Title Page bears the delightful quotation from
Moth, in Shakespeare's “Love Labours Lost”
He has been at a great feast of languages, and stolen all the scraps!”. What a feast indeed!
Under the initial letters heading DO -DU (the leaves are unpaginated), I came across the following gem....

Dulce est desipere in loco”.

How that rang a bell....!
Macdonnel renders this epigram from Horace rather stiffly as:
It is pleasant to play the fool in a proper place”.
However, it was immortalised by
Bernard Quaritch on the 4th of April 1878, when he founded “Ye Sette of Odd Volumes” at St. John's Gate, Clerkenwell, and took the phrase as his masthead, with the more relaxed version.....

“Delightful, is it, to play the fool when we're out of School”.
An imprint of this from an 1885 Odd Volume is shown in the image below (query. Who is W.M.T?).......


Macdonnel goes further....”There are seasons when it is permitted that wisdom may take the garb of frivolity, and without incurring any reproach”. Indeed!

The Sette was In fact a select group of literary, artistic and scientific people (always an odd number, like 99, and chosen by invitation), who met as a dining club, at which one member would speak on a topic of interest.

But..and here is the interesting bit...the speaker would produce a small volume to go with it. This was an Opusculum...and there was always a small number printed (normally an odd number, but occasionally even), hence the rarity and desirability to collectors.

These are little literary gems and now much collected. They are small and square and known in the trade as Dumpy Twelves. Dr George C Willamson gives a marvellous article on them in his 1921 volume “Behind My Library Door”. We currently have twenty-six of them and a small selection is shown below.


To view them...just enter "Sette" in "Keywords" after clicking here....

Prices range from a few pounds to several tens, with the one on Frederick Rolfe (Baron Corvo) being something of a rarity. We will save Frederick Rolfe for a later chat......

(Meanwhile below: some views of
"The Library of Babel" by Jorge Francisco Isidoro Luis Borges (1899 - 1996). This short story first appeared in English in "Labyrinths", having been published by New Directions in 1962 and translated by James E Irby. What bliss...the library of all possible books......).


Text-only version of this page  |  Edit this page  |  Manage website  |  Website design: 2-minute-website.com