Jacques-Charles Brunet, Le Grand Bibliographe. A guide to the books he wrote, compiled, and edited and to the book-auction catalogues he expertised.

[London], Quaritch, 2007.

8vo (220 x 140 mm), pp. xiii, 90, with 21 illustrations (two coloured); title printed in red and black; blue cloth, dust-jacket.

£60

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As an undergraduate in Brown University Roger Stoddard operated a second-hand bookshop from his dormitory room, issuing modest catalogues while working for Goodspeed’s Book Shop in the summer months. From 1958 until 1961 he assisted William Jackson, Librarian of the Houghton Library, and from 1961 until 1965 he served as Assistant Curator, then Curator of the Harris Collection of American Poetry and Plays in Brown University. In 1965 he was called back to Houghton Library where he has held various titles, retiring on 31 December 2004 as Senior Curator in the Houghton Library, Curator of Rare Books in the Harvard College Library, and Senior Lecturer on English. On 15 December 2004 he was appointed Associate of the English Department, and he continues to practice bibliography and to publish from his carrel in the book stack of the H. E. Widener Memorial Library. Works in progress include bibliographies of American poetry printed 1610–1820, William A. Alcott, Albert Cossery, and Andrée Chedid.

Stoddard’s interest in the great French bookseller-bibliographer, Jacques-Charles Brunet (1780–1867), goes back to his undergraduate days, when, he writes, ‘I sought out Lawrence C. Wroth, Librarian of the John Carter Brown Library, who agreed to accept me as a student in Bibliography for a semester. Each week I would be assigned some classic work, compose a brief essay about it, and present myself for instruction by the master. One week the assignment was Brunet’s Manuel, the book I had dreamed of finding. Brunet offered guidance to all books, it seemed to me: everything you looked for was there to find. Eventually, I would learn to depend on his accuracy, but at first it was the inclusiveness of his selection that amazed me. When I went to the Houghton Library as an apprentice, I consulted Brunet so frequently that my boss, William A. Jackson, moved the book from his office into mine. A few years later . . . I began to collect Brunet for myself and to describe copies of his books when I traveled. I learned a lot that I wanted to share, so I made a bibliographical catalogue . . . ’.

ISBN-13: 978 0 9550852 3 9.

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