Thursday, 15 March 2012

Dr William's Library and Thomas Hollis

Went to a seminar in Dissenting Studies at The Dr William's Library in Gordon Square I listened intently as Professor Allen Reddick, Head of the English Department at Zurich University went through the story of how Thomas Hollis, a wealthy dissenter of the 18th century came to donate so many rare books to this lovely library. His hero was John Milton and Hollis' career followed Milton's plan for moral and religious service.

He inherited not one but two vast fortunes and spent his life sending books to institutions always with a view of promoting the freedom of religious worship. When Harvard College suffered the loss of it's library after a fire he restocked it.

Professor Reddick spoke about the lovely bindings of the books and the inscriptions written inside.

The Dissenters are a subject in which I would like to extend my knowledge.

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