Magpies, Squirrels & Thieves

I have been doing an enormous amount of background reading in preparation for writing my thesis.  I seem to have piles of books everywhere...on the desk, at the side of the bed, by the bath!  Some are a real effort to plough through, but one has really surprised me by holding my attention for long periods of time...no mean feat I may tell you!!

Jacqueline Yallop's Magpies, Squirrels & Thieves: How the Victorians Collected the World (2011) tells the tale of five very different collectors - John Charles Robinson, Charlotte Schreiber, Joseph Mayer, Murray Marks and Stephen Wootton Bushell.  All have very different stories behind them but each is as fascinating as the the next one.  Equally helpful is the way that Yallop provides well researched background information on how collecting developed, on changing trends and how the roles of dealer, curator and collector emerged and changed.

For those interested in collecting Egyptian items (and if you are on this blog than I suspect you may be!) the chapter on Mayer will especially draw you in.  The whole book however is a worthwhile addition to anyone interested in collecting during this period.

Now onto the next one...now where did I put that book?

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