The Lost Library of the King of Portugal
A labour of love and scholarship, this is a study of the extraordinary Royal Library of Dom Joao V (1706-1750) of Portugal that was destroyed in 1755 in the Lisbon earthquake. The library contained books, prints, drawings, a cabinet of natural history, scientific instruments, clocks… It was one of the finest royal libraries anywhere in Europe, but hitherto no proper evaluation of its contents and importance to the European Enlightenment has been made.
This book describes the creation of the library, the acquisitions (of single volumes as well as of entire libraries across Europe) and the diplomats engaged in negotiating those acquisitions. No general catalogue survives, so the author’s task has not been an easy one, but the result is stupendous.
Large format, well illustrated.