The Library

The Cathedral Library was built in the mid-fifteenth century over the East Cloister.

It houses the book collection of the Chapter in two areas: the Chained Library and the Reading Room. The earliest records of the Cathedral are housed in the Muniment Room at the southern end of the Library.

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Featured Book of the Month : NOVEMBER

CHARDIN, Sir John    

Travels of Sir John Chardin into Persia and the East Indies     (1686)

November Book

Sir John Chardin (1643-1713) was born Jean-Baptiste Chardin, the son of a wealthy jeweller in France.

He decided to travel rather than enter the family business and set off in 1664 for six years of travelling in Persia and India. However, being Protestant, he found himself unwelcome on his return to France and set off again for Persia and India where he spent another six years, including four at the imperial court of the Shah in Isfahan.

Still unwelcome in France, he settled in London and was made court jeweller by Charles II, knighted, and in 1682 made a Fellow of the Royal Society. He was later sent by the king to be the envoy of the East India Company in Holland.

The first volume of his travels was published in 1686 and then several more volumes followed. His fluency in Persian and long association with the Safavid court make his observations valuable to historians and his writing is highly regarded. Chardin died in London and there is a funeral monument for him in Westminster Abbey.

OLN 190

There are 16 copper plates showing panoramas of cities visited.