WMR's list of the books in DGR's library in 1866, while very important,
cannot be taken as a
complete list of the books he owned—least of all used—up to that date.
A great many of these books came to him from his father's
library. One can reasonably surmise that all or nearly all of the
early imprinted books
dealing with Italian poetry were originally his father's. But from the absence of
certain books that we know formed part of his father's library, it is clear that
DGR's brother, sisters, and probably other family members took other parts of
Gabriele's books. In that regard, the most important works not listed here are the editions that DGR regularly used when
he was making his translations for The Early Italian Poets:
for instance, the Fraticelli edition of Dante; the Allaci edition
Rime Antiche; Crescimbeni's
della volgar poesie; Trucchi's
Inedite di Dugento Autori; Valeriani and Lampredi's
Primo Secolo; and Villaroso's 4 volume edition of
rime antiche toscane.
This list of books is notable in several other respects. Especially
important are the many books signalling DGR's interest in book design
and illustration—for instance the copies of
Ornament, of two Aldus editions including
the famous illustrated Aldus edition (published in 1499) of Colonna's
Hypnerotomachia, as well
as many contemporary works of various kinds, including Lear's
Book of Nonsense.
(It is interesting that WMR gives 1467 as the date of Colonna's book, which is the date
of its composition, not the date when it was published by Aldus.)
As one would expect, the list includes a number of costume books that were
important for his drawing and painting work. The undated title
Print-books & Illustrated
Books, Coloured & Plain is an outstanding entry. Finally, one notes
that DGR clearly had a
significant interest in contemporary French literature.
WMR compiled this booklist around 1866, as he notes on
the copy preserved in
the library of the University of British Columbia.