Who said: "Good as it is to inherit a library, it is better to collect one."

BookBrowse's Favorite Quotes

"Good as it is to inherit a library, it is better to collect one." - Augustine Birrell

Augustine BirrelllAugustine Birrell (1850-1933) was an English author and politician. Having graduated from Trinity Hall, Cambridge, he qualified as a lawyer and, after a short sojourn as a professor of law, entered parliament as a Liberal representing Fife West in Scotland. His light but pointed sense of humor when addressing The House of Commons, and his witty essays, coined the word birrelling (a word which regrettably has not stood the test of time, at least not to the point that it is one of the 163,000 words in today's Shorter Oxford English Dictionary). In addition to a number of books of essays, he also penned biographies of Charlotte Bronte, William Hazlitt and Andrew Marvell.

At the 1900 general election he chose to contest the Manchester North East seat rather than Fife, but was defeated. He was returned to parliament in 1906 as the member of parliament for Bristol North and became President of the Board of Education; but prolonged controversy over an education bill caused him to fall out of favor and he was transferred to the post of Chief Secretary for Ireland where, in 1907, he introduced an Irish Councils bill which would have been a step towards home rule. The bill was rejected by a Nationalist convention and was promptly withdrawn.

He continued as Chief Secretary for Ireland for nine years, resigning in 1916 after failing to contain the plotting that ended in the Easter Uprising (the most significant Irish uprising since 1798). He did not defend his seat in the 1918 general election.

More Quotes

This quote & biography originally ran in an issue of BookBrowse's membership magazine. Full Membership Features & Benefits.

Join BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Find out more


Today's Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Shadows of Berlin
    Shadows of Berlin
    by David R. Gillham
    David R. Gillham's latest novel, Shadows of Berlin, opens in New York City in 1955. Rachel, a young ...
  • Book Jacket: Trust
    Trust
    by Hernan Diaz
    Hernan Diaz's Trust is a work of fiction that is itself comprised of four very different works ...
  • Book Jacket: Let's Not Do That Again
    Let's Not Do That Again
    by Grant Ginder
    We have all dealt with inescapable, insufferable family members at some point, and the ones who say ...
  • Book Jacket: Atomic Anna
    Atomic Anna
    by Rachel Barenbaum
    If you had the opportunity to prevent one of the world's most horrific disasters, would you? What if...

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
Oh William!
by Elizabeth Strout
Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout explores the mysteries of marriage and the secrets we keep.

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Metropolis
    by B. A. Shapiro

    "An ingeniously plotted hybrid social/suspense novel. Shapiro hits it out of the park."
    —Shelf Awareness

Who Said...

What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading, you wish the author that wrote it was a ...

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

T S's T Limit

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.