Detail from Lithograph by Alexander Ver Huell

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The Reader, by Alexander Ver Huell, c. 1880

Book of the Month -- July 2024

 The Diary of a Lover of Literature, by Thomas Green

Bookish gent

"People say that life is the thing, but I prefer reading." We bibliophiles agree with Logan Pearsall Smith's doctrine, and none agreed more than Thomas Green. At the age of twenty-five he inherited a fine house in Ipswich, a substantial fortune and a large library. He spent the rest of his life happily reading both the books he inherited, and new ones as they were published, and recorded them and his opinions on them in a diary which he kept for nearly thirty years from 1797 to 1825. Once every two years or so he stirred himself to undertake a tour of some famous beauty spots in England or Wales, but soon returned to his books. In 1810 he published the first few years of the diary, which are reproduced here, together with links to the books he read, when available.


The Ex-Classics project was founded in 2000 to fill an unmet need.  When reading the blurb etc. to a book by Charles Dickens or Charlotte Bronte, say, we would often come across sentences like "Favourite reading included . . ."  If  it's good enough for them, it's good enough for us. So off we go to the library or bookshop, to be met first with blank stares and then with the information that the book has been out of print for decades. Our first two books were Gil Blas and Hudibras, which are prime examples of thisThis web site is dedicated to rescuing these works from obscurity and making them available online, both for reading directly, and for downloading.

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Max Adeler contemplating the Patent Office Report, by Arthur B. Frost

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