"How pleasant it is to spend an evening in this way! I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! -- When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.''
-Pride and Prejudice
Ackermann's Repository of Arts
was an illustrated, British periodical published from 1809-1829 by Rudolph Ackermann. Although commonly called Ackermann's Repository
, or, simply Ackerman's
, the formal title of the journal was Repository of arts, literature, commerce, manufactures, fashions, and politics
, and it did, indeed cover all of these fields. In its day, it had great influence on English taste in fashion, architecture, and literature.
Many of the English fashion plates that remain from the Regency era are from Ackermann's and while a wide assortment of topics were covered in each issue, fasshionable furniture was also highlighted. The following library table, from the January, 1814 issue, is suggested as the perfect piece for smaller homes and city apartments. Jane Austen spent time in London in 1814, with her brother Henry (his wife, Eliza, had passed away the previous year) Perhaps she wrote parts of her upcoming novel, Emma
(1815) at a desk like this one, while staying at his home in Henrietta street.
The chaste and elegant library table represented in the annexed engraving, is of a convenient form and moderate size, and is so suited to an apartment of small dimensions: at the same time it exhibits that breadth of parts and greatness of design, which characterize most articles of modern furniture, and give a dignity heretofore unknown. The recess beneath renders it also extremely commodious for a writing-table, which was not the case with the library tables formerly constructed. The chair is designed with equal attention to elegance and convenience, and made to correspond. They may both be forged of mahogany, with rings and ornaments of bronze; the shelves of the table with divide, so as to admit either a row of folios and octavos, or two rows of quatros.
-Ackermann's Repository of Arts and Literature