Book-collecting fraternities are far from uncommon, but none of them is the equal of their British progenitor, the Roxburghe Club, either in age or exclusivity. This June the members celebrated its bicentenary, apparently in due style. At the inaugural dinner in 1812, 18 book-collectors, chaired by the Lord Spencer of the day, gathered to celebrate the sale at auction of the 3rd Duke of Roxburghe’s copy of a 1471 edition of Boccaccio, for which Lord Blandford had just paid £2,260, then a record price for a printed book. It was exceeded only in 1884, and meanwhile the antiquarian book market went through periods of despondency. The Roxburghe’s members — soon to number the still current limit of 40 — agreed to meet annually, and to present to each of their brethren a strictly limited printing of some text of their own choice.