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NOT researching in Gladstone’s Library...

by Amy Sumner | Monday, 26th November 2018 | 0 Comments

You know that moment, when you really should be hard at work. When you really should be reading your way through a particularly dense chapter that is connected to the subject of your next book, with loads of footnotes and references which you have to laboriously work your way through, holding down the page number, consulting the back of the (heavy) book, with the name of the author, the publisher, the date of publication, and let’s face it, all the boring information you need. And your neck begins to ache, and you think you really must stretch your legs, at least stand up and take a turn along the shelves where the grass suddenly seems greener, and the books seem far more glamorous and fascinating. And so you do...


Tales of Wonder and timeless tales of horror...

by Amy Sumner | Thursday, 18th October 2018 | 0 Comments

The month of Halloween is in full flow; the nights draw closer, the mornings mistier, and that black cat at the end of the street grows ever more ominous each time you pass. So, as every fancy dress lover’s favourite day of the year looms over us like a pumpkin-shaped apparition, there has never been a more appropriate time to look into the spookier side of our collections here at Gladstone’s Library…



Gray’s Anatomy: the alien world of the human body

by Amy Sumner | Friday, 08th June 2018 | 0 Comments

Upon hearing the phrase Gray’s Anatomy, images may come to mind of the popular American TV series set in a Seattle hospital; however a much different medium bears the origin of this name. Within William Gladstone's own collection there exists a 3rd edition copy of Gray’s Anatomy. Not as some might suspect, a novelised version of the TV series, but rather a complete 'descriptive and surgical' look at anatomy.


World Curlew Day: Books, birds, and St. Beuno

by Amy Sumner | Friday, 20th April 2018 | 0 Comments

21st April is World Curlew Day, the first annual international event with the aim of raising awareness of the Curlew, one of the most recognisable of wading birds (numenius arquata). According to the RSPB, there are 66,000 breeding pairs in the UK, with 140,000 individual curlews wintering on our shores and estuaries each year.




The reader behind the book - a look at marginalia

by Amy Sumner | Thursday, 18th January 2018 | 0 Comments

Library Intern Katie Ruffley has curated this month's display which is on W.E. Gladstone's habit of marginalia, or writing in books. In this blog, Katie discusses some of the difficulties faced when trying to create a display about books – as well as the contentiousness of whether to write, or not to write, in the margins...


Christmas reading recommends from the Gladstone's Library team!

by Amy Sumner | Friday, 15th December 2017 | 0 Comments

Gifting the perfect book to a person is one of the great joys of life; creating a perfect partnership which you can just feel in your bones will last.

With that in mind and as a little Christmas treat, the Gladstone's Library team have gathered together some of our books of the year and reading recommends perfect for stockings. If you are still looking for that perfect gift for someone special, we hope you can find inspiration within this guide! 


Germaine de Stael: The First Modern Woman

by Amy Sumner | Wednesday, 08th November 2017 | 0 Comments

Every month the library team curates a new display for visitors and everyone who uses the library, highlighting the many wonderful collections we have on our shelves. This month, Intern Elspeth Brodie-Browne has put together an exhibit on one of the great figures of the French Revolutionary period, who died 200 years ago…


The Great Rivalry, as told by Punch

by Amy Sumner | Tuesday, 24th October 2017 | 0 Comments

History is littered with bitter rivalries - Sparta and Athens, Lancaster and York, Tom and Jerry. But in recent centuries few have come close to matching the antagonism and divergence in styles that existed between two of Britain’s most significant leaders of the Victorian period, William Gladstone and Benjamin Disraeli. And what better way to learn about their rivalry than with the aid of every history student’s favourite source, (mostly because it beats sifting through mountains of unrelated papers), the satirical cartoon. 


Class mark K

by Amy Sumner | Thursday, 19th October 2017 | 0 Comments

I know what you're thinking, the title ‘Class mark K’ is pretty vague, but I just didn’t know how else to describe this magical corner of the Annex, where I lost a good hour of my day because of the sheer number of books that I just wanted to delve into...


The Treasures of Closed Access: Samuel Wesley’s Life of Christ

by Amy Sumner | Monday, 27th February 2017 | 0 Comments

The Closed Access section of the Reading Rooms contains some of the Library’s oldest and rarest literary works and collections. It includes about 15 Incunabula, texts printed between 1450 and 1501, as well as a collection of books once owned by the Glynne family, of whom Catherine, William Gladstone’s wife, was a member.

One of the books housed in Closed Access is Samuel Wesley’s The Life of our blessed Lord & Saviour. An Heroic Poem.



Reading Virginia Woolf’s Night and Day

by Amy Sumner | Tuesday, 13th September 2016 | 0 Comments

Ask someone to name a Virginia Woolf novel and they may well mention To The Lighthouse or Mrs Dalloway. Night and Day, Woolf’s second novel published in 1919 – a copy of which can be found in the Annex – probably won’t come up in conversation unless you are talking to someone who is a dedicated Woolf reader. Night and Day isn’t what you might expect of her. Think of Woolf and the word experimental comes to mind. It’s also somewhat longer than some of her later novels. This is early Woolf, on the way to breaking with convention and doing things differently, but not there yet.


Reading List: Politics of the Mid-Tudor Crisis

by Amy Sumner | Friday, 01st July 2016 | 0 Comments

A Reading List for Gladstone’s Library.

Bloody Mary, The Life of Mary Tudor - Carolly Erickson (1996)

This biography contains information not only on the early life and the short but ruthless reign of Mary I, but the political manoeuvring which took place after the death of Edward V on 16th July 1553, when, on his deathbed, he named Lady Jane Grey as his successor, despite his father’s Third Act of Succession. This left both of Henry VIII’s daughters, Mary and Elizabeth, without a legal claim.

The book details how Mary then raised an army to take the throne for herself and the turning of the Council of Lords on Jane and John Dudley.

*Available in Gladstone's Library at shelfmark M 27 M1 / 12


Reading List: European dictators of the 20th century

by Amy Sumner | Friday, 01st July 2016 | 0 Comments

A ‘dictator’ is defined as ‘a person exercising absolute power, especially a ruler who has absolute, unrestricted control in a government without hereditary succession’ (www.dictionary.com).

During the 20th century, Europe experienced some of the most manipulative and cunning dictators in history, including Mussolini, Hitler and Stalin. Below are a series of reading lists relating to this topic, to some of the most brutal dictators Europe has known.









Mrs Gladstone by Muriel Maufroy

by Amy Sumner | Tuesday, 12th November 2013 | 0 Comments

Muriel Maufroy uses a book found in the library as she delves into the secret life of Catherine Gladstone to discuss the complex intricacies of marriage in the Nineteenth Century.









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