James Fergusson

John Saumarez Smith at 65

James Fergusson remembers John Saumarez Smith

‘Might it amuse you to see (and perhaps even buy) Gibbon’s spectacles?’ John Saumarez Smith made Bevis Hillier a once-in-a-lifetime offer. It was 1976 and Hillier dithered. He neither saw nor bought Gibbon’s spectacles, but he did make a Saturday column out of it for the Times — characterising Saumarez Smith as ‘perhaps the most know- ledgeable of the younger generation of London booksellers’.

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