Cover of William Blades


Lifetime: 1824 - 1890 Passed: ≈ 134 years ago




United Kingdom

William Blades

William Blades, a prominent figure in the world of books and literature, was a renowned British author, bibliophile, and printer. With a deep passion for books and their preservation, Blades dedicated his life to studying the history of printing, advocating for book conservation, and sharing his knowledge through his notable works. This essay explores the life, principles, notable works, and legacy of William Blades, shedding light on his remarkable contributions to the literary world.

He was a multifaceted individual who made significant contributions to the field of bibliophilia and book preservation during the 19th century. He possessed a deep love for books, which he cultivated from a young age, and developed expertise as a printer, book collector, and librarian.

Blades held the belief that books were not merely objects but vital vessels of knowledge and cultural heritage. He dedicated himself to preserving and safeguarding these invaluable treasures from the various enemies they face, including fire, water, dust, and bookworms. His principles centered around the idea that books should be cherished, protected, and made accessible for future generations.

Blades is best known for his influential book, "The Enemies of Books" (1880). In this comprehensive work, he meticulously explores the threats that books have encountered throughout history and provides practical advice on book preservation. The book remains highly regarded and continues to serve as a valuable resource for bibliophiles, librarians, and book enthusiasts.

Another notable work by Blades is "The Life and Typography of William Caxton" (1861). This groundbreaking publication delves into the life and work of William Caxton, the first English printer, shedding light on the early history of printing in England.

William Blades's legacy lies in his dedication to book preservation and his significant contributions to the field of bibliophilia. His works continue to inspire and educate readers, emphasizing the importance of preserving written knowledge and cultural heritage. Blades is remembered as a visionary who recognized the value of books beyond their physical form, and his efforts have influenced subsequent generations of bibliophiles and book conservationists.

Beyond his accomplishments in the literary world, Blades was an active member of various organizations and societies, including the London Library and the Bibliographical Society. He was known for his meticulous attention to detail and thorough research, which is evident in his writings.

William Blades, a distinguished bibliophile, author, and advocate of book preservation, left an indelible mark on the literary world. Through his works, such as "The Enemies of Books" and "The Life and Typography of William Caxton," he inspired generations to cherish and protect books as valuable cultural artifacts. Blades's principles and philosophy regarding the preservation of books continue to influence book lovers and scholars, ensuring that his legacy lives on. His dedication to the written word and commitment to its preservation make him a celebrated figure in the history of bibliophilia and a source of inspiration for all who value the power of books.

Books by William Blades

The Enemies of Books Cover image

The Enemies of Books

History Non-Fiction
Fire Literature Culture Challenges Literary Criticism Heritage Water Educational Bibliography

It is an enlightening and thought-provoking book that delves into the various perils that books face throughout history. Written by William Blades, a prominent British author and bibliophile, the book was originally published in 1880 and continues to...