Wednesday 20 December 2023

Marriage and Manuscripts

Mark Pattison, Isaac Casaubon 1559-1614, 2nd ed. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1892), pp. 26-27:
   [...] in April  [1586] Casaubon married a second wife. Prudent it cannot have been in the middle of the public calamities, when even his poor £10 a year was precarious, to marry a girl of eighteen without fortune. But in times of distress men seek consolation, not welfare, and prudence is in abeyance. And there were many things to recommend the match. The lady had beauty, sense, worth, and her grandfather’s gentleness of disposition. Above all, Florence Estienne was the daughter of the great printer, Henri Estienne (Henricus Stephanus). Casaubon was naturally attracted to the editor of the Thesaurus, and had probably fallen in love with Estienne’s manuscript collections, before he began to pay his court to the daughter. 
In spite of marrying his daughter, Casaubon never succeeded in gaining full access to Estienne’s library. It is perilous to marry for books.