To supplement the current exhibition in the lobby of Rare Books and Special Collections, “Sir Charles Sebright: The Book-Collecting Baron,” Jason Rovito (Master of Information Studies, Candidate) was invited to write the following text:
Thus counter to that ancient will’s malign,
Who them to the devouring river dooms,
Some names are rescued by the birds benign;
Wasteful Oblivion all the rest consumes.
—Orlando Furioso, Canto XXXV, as translated by W. S. Rose (1858).
In 1848, on the turbulent Mediterranean island of Cephalonia, insurrection broke out. Amidst a wave of revolutions in Europe, citizens of the United States of the Ionian Islands declared themselves to be Greek. In the middle of this fray was Charles Sebright, the Baron d’Everton, whose book collection is currently being exhibited at McGill’s Rare Books and Special Collections.