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 The bill was rejected by a Nationalist convention and was promptly withdrawn.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.

Support BookBrowse

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

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Happiness
    Happiness
    by Heather Harpham
    Of the 53 reviews submitted for Happiness, 49 readers rated it a four- or five-star book for an ...
  • Book Jacket
    My Name Is Leon
    by Kit De Waal
    Kit de Waal's striking debut, My Name is Leon, has inspired this big, long, complicated question: ...
  • Book Jacket: New People
    New People
    by Danzy Senna
    Danzy Senna has spent virtually her entire writing career exploring the complicated intersections of...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
News of the World by Paulette Jiles

A brilliant work of historical fiction that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Young Jane Young
    by Gabrielle Zevin

    From the author of The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry comes a novel that will have everyone talking.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Resurrection of Joan Ashby

The Resurrection of Joan Ashby by Cherise Wolas

Epic, propulsive, incredibly ambitious, and dazzlingly written--a story about sacrifice and motherhood.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

I's A D Before D

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 books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.