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French Special Collections: Shackleton, Robert, 1919-1986

Robert Shackleton's collection of books by and about Montesquieu

Shackleton, Robert, 1919-1986 Bodley’s Librarian 1966-79, Marshal Foch Professor of French Literature, Oxford University (1979-1986).

A collection, bequeathed to the Bodleian, of c. 1,000 volumes by and about Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu (1689-1755), political philosopher.

It includes virtually every important early edition of all of Montesquieu’s works, and translations into other languages. In the section of over 500 volumes devoted to works by Montesquieu printed before 1920, there are editions of the collected works (250 volumes, including 24 18th century editions) and editions of the single works, including 36 editions of De l’esprit des lois (1748) in French and over 50 in translation: there are 16 different editions of De l’esprit des lois published before 1751, and numerous copies of the English translations produced before 1803 in places as varied as Aberdeen, Dublin, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London, and Worcester, Massachusetts. Among Shackleton’s working and personal papers in the Bodleian is the manuscript of his Lyell Lectures on the bibliographical history of Montesquieu, based on his collection. •


Rare  Books Named Collection descriptions

G. G. Barber, [‘Robert Shackleton’s collection of books by and about Montesquieu’], BLR XII, 4 (April 1987) 324-7.