Updike, American Printer and His Merrymount Press

Updike, American Printer and His Merrymount Press

Updike, American Printer and His Merrymount Press

Updike, American Printer and His Merrymount Press

Excerpt

Printing became the occupation of my life by pure accident. Books, as literature, have been familiar to me as long as I can remember, for my mother, a woman of very remarkable intellectual powers who knew thoroughly both English and French literature, trained my taste in reading; but I knew nothing about how books were printed or put together. However, an experience that occurred after my father's death in 1878 familiarized me with the outside and inside of many volumes I should never have known about otherwise. This was a winter passed as an assistant at the Providence Athenaeum, when the librarian, being invalided, asked me to relieve him by taking some hours of duty there each day. I had access also to the interesting but then crowded library of Brown University; and when in Newport I spent many hours among the books at the Redwood Library. All this was done without any particular aim. How the books were made never interested me; least of all did it occur to me that I should ever make books myself. But this substratum of familiarity with books of all sorts, their appearance, titles, contents, stood me later in good stead. My mother, who was a thorough student, was impatient at my miscellaneous and ineffective browsings. "You are not a scholar," she used to say. "You do not love to learn as I do." Nor did I love to learn. I was unhappy at school, and as I look back upon it I had reason to be. The only thing I ever got there was a deepened religious sense, for the master, an Episcopal clergyman of real "Evangelical" piety, in the short daily morning talks before lessons began, made an impression that I have never forgotten. Eagerness for knowledge about things I wanted to know was not lacking, but most of the knowledge imparted did not concern the . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.