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With more than one million books and periodicals in over 50 languages, the collection includes works from the 16th century to the latest publications in print and electronic form.


Eagle eyed viewers of the first episode of BBC 4’s new series “How to be a Bohemian” would have spotted an array of London Library books in their distinctive bindings and labels making guest appearances throughout the programme. The Library’s collections helped describe and illustrate the story at pivotal moments as it explored how bohemian subculture took root in Britain. Featured books included Arthur Ransome’s Bohemia in London (1907) and the hugely influential and risqué avant-garde periodical The Yellow Book (1894-1897), illustrated by London Library member Aubrey Beardsley.


In this year’s annual London Library Lecture, which is being hosted by the Hay Festival, Professor Robert Crawford, biographer of the young TS Eliot, discusses Eliot’s relationship with The London Library, as one of its former Presidents, and the relationship between poets and libraries in the wider context. The event – TS Eliot, Poets & Libraries - opens with a reading of Eliot’s poems by actress Miranda Richardson.



John O' Farrell


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