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Tales of Wonder and timeless tales of horror...

by Rhian Waller | Thursday, 18th October 2018

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 Rhian Waller | Tuesday, 25th September 2018

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 Rhian Waller | Friday, 06th July 2018

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 Rhian Waller | Tuesday, 01st May 2018

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 Rhian Waller | Thursday, 15th March 2018

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 Administrator | Wednesday, 07th March 2018

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 Rhian Waller | Friday, 23rd February 2018

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 Rhian Waller | Thursday, 18th January 2018

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 Rhian Waller | Thursday, 18th January 2018

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 Rhian Waller | Friday, 15th December 2017

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 Rhian Waller | Wednesday, 13th December 2017

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 Rhian Waller | Wednesday, 06th December 2017

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 Rhian Waller | Wednesday, 08th November 2017

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 Rhian Waller | Tuesday, 24th October 2017

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. 

Musical Mary Drew

by Rhian Waller | Thursday, 24th August 2017

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 Rhian Waller | Friday, 23rd June 2017

‘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 Rhian Waller | Tuesday, 30th May 2017

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 Rhian Waller | Monday, 20th March 2017

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...

A book list with a difference

by Rhian Waller | Sunday, 17th July 2016

‘Books are a delightful society. If you go into a room filled with books, even without taking them down from their shelves they seem to speak to you, to welcome you.’

With the wisdom of William Gladstone ringing in our ears, we asked the ‘delightful society’ of Gladstone's Library staff to tell us about a book that they love.

A book-list with a difference.

A translation of Gladstone’s German annotations

by Rhian Waller | Thursday, 16th June 2016

William Ewart Gladstone, the founder of Gladstone's Library, was a diligent and intelligent man. Apart from being Britain’s longest serving Prime Minister to this day, he also managed to read 22,000 books and even found the time to annotate 11,000 of them. And not just in his native language, English; he also annotated his books in at least five other languages: Latin, Italian, Greek, French and German.

Gladstone's Library, commuting and Kung Fu

by Rhian Waller | Wednesday, 11th May 2016

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.

A day in the life of a Library Intern

by Rhian Waller | Friday, 01st April 2016

Just what do our interns do all day? In her final blog, outgoing intern Kirsten-Rose Brooks bids farewell to the Library and provides an insight into life on the Library team.

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

by Rhian Waller | Friday, 18th March 2016

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 Rhian Waller | Friday, 11th March 2016

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 Gladstone's Library team: what we're reading

by Rhian Waller | Friday, 29th January 2016

At the Library, all of our staff and guests are united by (what else?) a love of books and reading. This week I investigated just what we’ve got our noses in at the moment, and there’s some fantastic reading inspiration to be found!

The Grand Old Man and his legacy

by Rhian Waller | Thursday, 17th December 2015

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 Rhian Waller | Wednesday, 16th December 2015

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 Rhian Waller | Friday, 13th November 2015

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 Rhian Waller | Thursday, 06th November 2014

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 Rhian Waller | Wednesday, 15th October 2014

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,

Lying in Wait by Phillip Clement

by Rhian Waller | Tuesday, 17th December 2013

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

A Call to Arms by Jamie Stokes

by Rhian Waller | Wednesday, 11th December 2013

The noble consulting intern, Jamie Stokes, picks up the gauntlet laid down for him by the mysterious "Professor" and, so it seems, not a moment to soon...

The Game is Afoot by Phillip Clement

by Rhian Waller | Monday, 09th December 2013

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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