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New for 1819! Books published 200 years ago…

by Amy Sumner | Wednesday, 15th May 2019 | 0 Comments

At Gladstone’s Library we rotate our History Room display every month to focus on a different aspect of our collection. This month we’ve dug out some of our best examples of works published in 1819, exactly 200 years ago, to give you a taste of what people were reading during the Georgian Regency period of British history. 


Gladstone and the Romantics: our new April display

by Amy Sumner | Friday, 05th April 2019 | 0 Comments

Today when we consider the word ‘romantic’ we think of love and sentimentality, but the term ‘Romanticism’ had a much broader meaning, historically. Romanticism was a period which spanned the late 18th and early 19th centuries, emerging as a response to the disillusionment with the Enlightenment values of reason and order in the aftermath of the French Revolution of 1789. It covered a range of developments in art, literature, music and philosophy and William Gladstone himself would have been witness to its peak during his lifetime.




Tales of the supernatural: the library’s hidden creature features!

by Amy Sumner | Monday, 04th February 2019 | 0 Comments

At Gladstone’s Library we rotate our History Room display every month to focus on an aspect of Gladstone the man, or our extensive library catalogue. This February I decided to give some of our lesser-known collections a little TLC by presenting a display on 'Tales of the Supernatural: The Library’s Hidden Creature Features!' Additionally, to give you all some extra background on this exciting topic, I’m writing this blog for our website.


John Douglas – the man behind Gladstone’s Library

by Amy Sumner | Friday, 26th October 2018 | 0 Comments

Do you know the man behind the building of Gladstone’s Library? Possibly not. His name is John Douglas and he designed, during his life, more than 500 buildings. One of them was St Deiniol's Library, today known as Gladstone’s Library.


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…



Edrychiad i fewn yr gasgliad Cymraeg / Looking into our Welsh collection

by Amy Sumner | Tuesday, 25th September 2018 | 0 Comments

Although not Welsh himself, in 1894 William Ewart Gladstone decided to found his library across the Welsh border for good reason. The beautiful, remote countryside of Hawarden village, as well as nearby historic areas such as Ruthin and Mold, are steeped in culture and Welsh heritage. With an abundance of hills, forests and, of course, castles, as well as the mountain range of Snowdonia, Gladstone envisaged that rather than the congested streets of London, Liverpool or Manchester, North Wales would serve as the perfectly serene backdrop for his incredible legacy as well as provide the necessary air of tranquillity for study and contemplation.




A Gladstone’s mystery: solved

by Amy Sumner | Friday, 06th July 2018 | 0 Comments

Have you ever wondered what the above symbol is? We use it everywhere - on our website, on our social media, our merchandise, even our business cards – it has, in time, become the symbol for Gladstone’s Library. But what exactly is it a symbol for? Where does it come from and what does it mean?


The Irish answer

by Amy Sumner | Tuesday, 01st May 2018 | 0 Comments

The items on show in our Display Cabinet this month have been curated by intern Alex Locke. Entitled ‘The Irish Answer’, the display concentrates on William Gladstone and Irish Home Rule, and shows not only the complexity of the issue, but the many different types of printed matter the subject generated. In this blog, Alex gives us more on one of the major political problems of the 19th Century… 



Beware the Ides of March

by Amy Sumner | Thursday, 15th March 2018 | 0 Comments

Beware the Ides of March; a saying that can often be heard around this time. But why? Why are we warned to 'beware the Ides of March' and what is the story behind it?


Making the most of your visit to Gladstone’s Library

by Amy Sumner | Wednesday, 07th March 2018 | 0 Comments

So, you’re visiting Gladstone's Library for the first time, fantastic! What’s the plan?

We recommend arriving around 11am. Our on-site café and bistro Food for Thought is open to the public (10am - 5pm), and a nice hot cup of coffee is the perfect start to your day.


Writing the Revolution

by Amy Sumner | Friday, 23rd February 2018 | 0 Comments

In this blog, intern Alex Locke writes about our latest History Room display for the month of March. The display focuses on how our collections at Gladstone's Library – some on display for the first time – can help illustrate one of the most tumultuous events in Western history – the French Revolution. Read on to find out more about how the printed word played a part in this extraordinary event, and how its influence impacted Gladstone's time as much as our own... 


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...


Gladstone's library of forking paths

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

In this blog, library intern Carla Manfredino considers the library used by one of her favourite writers, Argentine author and librarian Jorge Luis Borges, and asks how many of those books could be found on the shelves here in Hawarden... 


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! 


Gladstone, Hallam & Tennyson

by Amy Sumner | Wednesday, 13th December 2017 | 0 Comments

Following Sarah Perry’s Gladstone Lecture on the subject of Gladstone, Hallam & Tennyson and the Idea of Friendship back in November, Intern Carla Manfredino ruminates on the close alliances between the three…


A weird and wonderful Welsh Christmas!

by Amy Sumner | Wednesday, 06th December 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 reflects on our final display of 2017, co-curated with Intern Katie Ruffley, all about the many Christmas traditions here in Wales... 


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...



Musical Mary Drew

by Amy Sumner | Thursday, 24th August 2017 | 0 Comments

The contents of Mary Drew’s diaries have been something of a surprise to me! But the daughter of a four-times Prime Minister, whom later acquired the position of Private Secretary to William Gladstone, did not hide her love of music. So much so, she wrote reviews about the music she listened to, the orchestras she went to see, and her own public and private performances.


“It’s a mere nonsense”: Gladstone’s Homeric Age

by Amy Sumner | Friday, 23rd June 2017 | 0 Comments

‘Looked into my papers on Homer: & I am strongly tempted to undertake something…’ wrote Gladstone on 7th July 1855, unaware that that ‘something’ would occupy his thoughts for much of the next three years. What began as a small project to be completed while out of office grew to a three volume work: Homer and the Homeric Age (1858).


A Series of Unfortunate Events

by Amy Sumner | Tuesday, 30th May 2017 | 0 Comments

Interns at Gladstone’s Library are encouraged to contribute periodic blogs on aspects of William Gladstone, the Library and its collections which really spark their interest or tie in with their own areas of expertise.

With the acquisition of the British Crime Writing Archives at Gladstone’s Library and our first ever Alibis in the Archive event taking place to launch that archive (now SOLD OUT!), Intern Danielle set about coming up with a murder mystery of her own to really get into the criminal spirit of things to come…


The Swiss Intern

by Amy Sumner | Monday, 20th March 2017 | 0 Comments

My name is Jennifer, I’m 22 years old and I’m the current Swiss intern at Gladstone’s Library. But how did somebody from Switzerland get to work here? Long story...





Gladstone's Library, commuting and Kung Fu

by Amy Sumner | Wednesday, 11th May 2016 | 0 Comments

I am asked frequently by visitors to Gladstone's Library, and by my friends, what it is that I do during my time here. This blog will give a bit of insight into my routine as the only non-residential intern currently on the team at Gladstone's Library.


What We're Reading...Kirsten-Rose Brooks, Library Intern

by Amy Sumner | Friday, 18th March 2016 | 0 Comments

Welcome to a new series on the Volume blog, What We're Reading, in which members of the Library team divulge their current reads and what they think of them. This week, it's my turn: Kirsten-Rose Brooks, one of the three library interns, avid reader and aspiring writer. 


Dear W.E.G. - a blog by new intern, Mary

by Amy Sumner | Friday, 11th March 2016 | 0 Comments

Dear W.E.G.,

Let me introduce myself: I'm Mary, the greenest Intern in Gladstone's Library, having begun 10 days ago. You may remember me from the 2am chat I had with you on the eve of my interview, when nerves stopped me sleeping and your portrait kept side-eyeing me. As I learn more about this place, I feel I'm getting to know you; let me reciprocate, then, by telling you about my first week here.


The Grand Old Man and his legacy

by Amy Sumner | Thursday, 17th December 2015 | 0 Comments

One of the most popular questions we're asked on our Glimpses is ‘did Gladstone live here?’ The answer is no, he didn’t. Sadly, although Gladstone worked so hard to leave his scholarly legacy behind, building his collection from the ground up and helping to design the very shelves within, Gladstone himself never walked through the Hogwarts-like library admiring the wood carving and the silence. That isn’t to say you can't sense his legacy though…


Hawarden: a history

by Amy Sumner | Wednesday, 16th December 2015 | 0 Comments

Have you ever wondered about the history of the little village that we’re nestled in? Well, we’ve been digging around to bring you some of the facts!


Turn to books for the perfect present this Christmas!

by Amy Sumner | Friday, 13th November 2015 | 0 Comments

Halloween is well and truly over, the embers of Bonfire Night have dwindled away and now that November is in full swing it’s time to start thinking about what you might like to buy your loved ones for Christmas. Unless you simply ask someone what they’d like, it can be very difficult to decide on the perfect gift. Of course, at Gladstone’s Library we suggest you can rarely go wrong with a good book!



The Art of Bookbinding, by Lauren Christina Holmes

by Amy Sumner | Thursday, 06th November 2014 | 0 Comments

Within the first month of my internship, Siân (one of the previous interns) had embarked upon a day-long bookbinding course. Although I’d spent much of my life around books, as silly as it seems, the thought had never occurred to me that some books were made by human hands. I rather expected all books nowadays to be stamped into existence by a great, clunking, efficient machine. I thought that hand-bound books belonged to the centuries before industry charged into towns and cities and made flesh hands idle and cold metal grind.


Job Description Library Intern (January-March 2015)

by Amy Sumner | Wednesday, 15th October 2014 | 0 Comments

This is a rare opportunity to join the successful intern programme at Gladstone’s Library. We are proud to say that almost all previous interns have, as a direct result of their experience here,


Love and the Red Balloon by Jamie Stokes

by Amy Sumner | Friday, 16th May 2014 | 0 Comments

Former intern, Jamie Stokes, returns to us (metaphorically) to tell us why he would read Julian Barnes' 'Levels of Life' if he could be with us tonight.









Lying in Wait by Phillip Clement

by Amy Sumner | Tuesday, 17th December 2013 | 0 Comments

Few times in my life have I been as insulted as I was on the evening of Wednesday last.I rose, as is my morning custom, at a respectable 8.15am and underwent my usual morning routine: showeri


The Game is Afoot by Phillip Clement

by Amy Sumner | Monday, 09th December 2013 | 0 Comments

In response to the recent publication of Mr Jamie Stokes' 'Commencing the Treasure Hunt' web log, Phillip Clement, writes to his adversary to forewarn him...





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