Personal Libraries as Perceived by a Literary Historian
|Keywords||Marie Hübnerová (1865–1931) – Julius Zeyer (1841–1901) – personal library – National Museum Library – provenance research – literary history – 19th century|
|Citation||MENCLOVÁ, Věra. Personal Libraries as Perceived by a Literary Historian. Acta Musei Nationalis Pragae – Historia litterarum. Prague: National Museum, 2013, 58(3-4), 71-75. ISSN 0036-5351. Also available from: https://publikace.nm.cz/en/periodicals/amnphl/58-3-4/personal-libraries-as-perceived-by-a-literary-historian|
Deep knowledge of individual volumes in the libraries of prominent personalities provides every literary historian with a better idea of the owner’s education, of the spiritual milieu in which he/she lived and worked, of his/her contacts with his/her artistic contemporaries, of his/her life story, friends, travels and other experiences that shaped his/her character. Closer research into the purposefully built and expertly collected library of Julius Zeyer shows that he was able to read and develop his education in several European languages and did so throughout his life. Fiction occupies more than a half of this multifarious library. The remaining part is filled with philosophy, science, dictionaries, etc. Zeyer’s profound and remarkable interest in the Middle Ages and myths – based on French, Scandinavian and Anglo–Saxon sources – runs deep and wide. Great attention is paid to Czech history as exhibited through rows of old literary documents. The structure of the library proves Zeyer’s focus on Christian topics in the later years of his life.