|Highclere Castle Library|
Since the introduction of “Downton Abbey”, life in the great houses has fascinated me. Not the stairs or the gowns and not the life style of the occupants, but it is the signature possessions that indicate “Now, here! And here! Well-to-do people live here!”
For me, the greatest indicators are the libraries (li-brees).
Authenticity and status demanded floor to ceiling bookshelves, weighted with huge ancient books. Faded leather bindings and spines, line up carefully with huge tomes on the top shelf, newer books in descending shelves.
Even in the respectable American homes, loaded bookcases mark the home as being one of means.
So many questions, I have so many:
1. How is the library used in those houses?
2. Do the Aged Leather bound books way up on top have a meaning?
3. Did anyone read those books?
4. If they did, where would one start?
5. If the books were read, did anyone read them from start to finish?
6. Who re-shelved these books?
7. Would one have a cool library ladder?
8. Who dusted those books (a female servant?)?
9. What happened to those books as they deteriorated? And who ever checked to see if the crumbling books should be thrown out?
Did anyone actually know what books they had?
That is all I wanted to know. Well,not all, but I am certain you may have questions of your own. Any answers?
|I want #78 on the third shelf down.|