"Benjamin Disraeli was of the opinion that he was born in a library. The library, reputed to have consisted of some 25,000 volumes, was that of his father, Isaac D'Israeli, a prolific and extremely popular author of essays, poems, novels, romances, reviews, and literary and historical studies. Over a lifetime extending from the reign of George III to that of Queen Victoria, Isaac D'Israeli had much to say about books, about their nature, production, and dissemination, and about their socio-political and ethical impact in times past and present. Emanating from his comprehensive world-view and unquenchable curiosity, the essays in this volume demonstrate D'Israeli's "honest desire of giving useful pleasure" and above all his conviction that books form the character of a civilization."--BOOK JACKET.